Abstract

The process known as ‘informed consent’ has its origins in a set of documents that spell out ways research participants should be protected from harm. The process has two important parts. The first part details the necessity of fully informing potential participants about the expectations and any potential risks associated with contributing data to the study. The second part describes the need for participants’ agreement to be a part of the study. Whilst this agreement must be made before the data collection begins, it is sometimes necessary to re-negotiate if situations change. This how-to guide offers suggestions for carrying out an informed consent process in online research that takes into account the nature of the study, the type(s) of data, and the technologies involved.

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