I am very happy to see the Internet Research Ethics books in print – as well as freely available in a variety of digital formats. I am even more happy to have contributed to this excellent volume (if I may say so myself), which details some of the current challenges with regards to – you guessed it – ethics that researchers interested in the Internet frequently have to deal with. In my chapter, I approach these issues based on my own experience with “big data”-type research, discussing methodological challenges in tandem with those of the ethical variety. To be a bit more specific, I argue for what could be labeled as a hashtag-based approach to data collection on Twitter. Briefly put, by focusing only on tweets that contain specific thematic keywords, we can be quite certain that the senders involved intended for their tweets to be visible in a certain context – of interest to researchers. Of course, while such an approach might be considered as ethically sound, it also means that any twitter activity of relevance not including the hashtag under study would not be included. This is of course problematic, especially in an international perspective, where ethical recommendations are often more relaxed – essentially meaning that researchers in many countries have broader opportunities for procuring full samples of social media traffic.
The latest issue of The Journal of Media Innovations is now live, hot off the digital press. This is the largest issue published by the Journal so far – with seven full papers, two research briefs and two book reviews, covering a wide array of issues all related to the overarching topic of innovative practices related to the media (industry), there’s bound to be something for interested researcher and practitioners here. Moreover, the issue features an editorial introduction penned by yours truly. Essentially, then, this introduction features summaries of the featured articles and briefs. I also briefly discuss the common themes and topics raised. As such, it could be a suitable starting point for those of you who might be looking for an overview of what’s going on in the current issue. Of course, chances are you’ll jump straight to one of the articles instead. Anyway, on behalf of myself and the rest of the editorial team at The Journal of Media Innovations, we hope you enjoy the featured articles. And hey, it’s free. Check it out, and consider to submit your own work!
… On a personal note, a big thank you to Charles Ess for allowing me to play a large part in the culling together of this issue. Also, thanks to Anders Fagerjord for putting together the nice article template. Hope you like the looks of the Journal as well!