Research Ethics & Oversight in the Digital Age
Over the last decade, advances in digital technology and the proliferation of mobile devices have afforded researchers unprecedented access to massive amounts of data generated by users of these technologies. It has also provided researchers access to a more diverse group of potential participants than was possible in traditional laboratory or clinic-based research. The digital revolution has also expanded opportunities for researchers to study a wide range of complex human behaviors unobtrusively, as they occur in realtime.
However, use of these digital technologies, in a rapidly changing landscape in which personal information is routinely collected, analyzed, managed, and shared, combined with people’s changing perceptions about privacy of personal information, raises questions about the suitability of the prevailing ethical framework for research with human participants – the Belmont Principles. Thus, researchers and institutional review boards (IRBs) could benefit from guidance on the oversight as well as conduct of research using digital technologies. In this webinar, we will discuss several ongoing projects to address this need, including a research collaboration between PRIM&R and Drexel University.
An overview of the issues and challenges for the research enterprise, and PRIM&R's project, will be accompanied by presentation of some current resources and tools available for IRBs and others who are reviewing studies that incorporate these digital age approaches.