For those who do not know, a key theme of social media is ‘engagement’. Despite this, to date there has been no specific regulatory guidance and there has been little in the bioethics literature to guide investigators and institutional review boards (IRBs) faced with navigating the ethical issues such use raises. As of January 2019, there were around 7.7 billion people in the world, of which 3.397 billion were active social media users (Smith 2019). e.g. Your email address will not be published. Now let us change course and focus on a different path of social media, that is where scientists use it to promote their research. The Use of Social Media and its Impact for Research, Keywords: Social media; Research; Engagement, Contact information: BioResources Process Editor, Department of Forest Biomaterials, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 8005, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA; e-mail: Have you ever reached out to a company on their social media for any reason? 2019. take care to ensure the rights of the social media users in their research. “Supporting Ethical Web Research.” In Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web. Once you have started, try to incorporate social media into your daily routine.Go online, post, and comment on any content that might be of interest to your field of research, but remember to think well before you post anything to … Wang, Yilun, and Michal Kosinski. 2019. 2017. As a scientist, it is essential to attend conferences, give lectures, and lead panel discussions to network with others about common science interests. If  social media if being used to collect information or data relating to (or requiring interaction with) extremist or terrorist groups or material, researchers should also complete a Security-sensitive or extremism-related research declaration (SSER). Research and Innovation ServicesUniversity of St AndrewsCollege GateSt AndrewsKY16 9AJ, © 2020 The University of St Andrews is a charity registered in Scotland, No: SC013532. For more information, see the interim guidance  for research involving humans. © 2020 NC State University. 2019), Questions for those using social media for fisheries research (Monkman, Kaiser, and Hyder 2017,,,,,,,,,,,, arrange to keep personal and professional social media separate as much as possible, for example adjusting privacy settings to avoid sharing personal information with participants, not accepting ‘friend’ requests from participants, and keeping communication professional and not personal, use direct messaging services and/or email to communicate with potential participants rather than engaging in discussion threads in public posts, ensure they will never publicly post private phone numbers, emails or addresses, nor require this of their participants, ensure that the data collected will only be used for the purposes detailed on the participant information sheet, ensure that no data such as images or audio-visual recording relating to participants are collected without the explicit consent of the participants. 2019). Social media is an omnipresent part of everyday life. The use of social media as a recruitment tool for research with humans is increasing, and likely to continue to grow. Almost every advertisement, whether television, radio, magazine, movie preview, podcast, newspaper, or elsewhere, will mention its social media presence in some way. This is a quick way to find and engage with people through common interests. Checking your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts every day for five minutes is much more effective than going online for an hour once per month. “Ethical Research Protocols for Social Media Health Research.” In Proceedings of the First ACL Workshop on Ethics in Natural Language Processing. Association of Internet Researchers. When planning or seeking ethical approval for research using social media, researchers should read this guidance and consider the issues raised. If you are not sure if this applies to your research, you should seek guidance from Data Protection: (2017). So, the first question you should ask yourself is whether you have the time for social media or not. 2016. However, the ethical framework relating to research using social media has not been very well-developed, and there are still many questions for a would-be social media researcher to ponder. However, if you were active on different community or special interest pages that relate to your area of study and participate in regular discussions with other researchers on these sites, then you may find yourself having a much wider reach. Provide links to your social media profiles on your homepage. Of course, you should still actively participate in your community by attending conventions and conferences, but if you truly seek to engage with more people, then you should not simply ignore the outlet of social media until you try it, as it can connect you with an even larger audience. Researchers have traditionally relied on “personal ethics” when deciding what is acceptable with regard to social media, which risks inconsistent decision-making (Samuel, Derrick, and Leeuwen 2019). Before choosing the right platform, it is important to look around and find out whether your colleagues are also active in those communities. to keep your audience interested. While all social media outlets have the potential for massive reach, it all comes back to a matter of whom you connect with or engage. This research was conducted even though the researchers ethics application was rejected by their University ethics committee (Weaver 2018). Collection of social media data originating from humans always requires ethical review. 2019), Are you inferring or using special category data? You can also provide links to your blogs, articles, websites, and more. 2019) (Norval and Henderson 2019) (Hutton and Henderson 2015). Discuss. Facebook: Similar to other platforms, you can use it to update your followers and contacts with your latest work, blogs, presentations, and more. ACM Press. However, LinkedIn and many other platforms also allow you to post links, pictures, and articles—or to comment on your colleagues’ posts—so in your free time, you should try to use these features to improve communication and interaction with your contacts.


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