Call for Papers: Ethical Issues in Social Media Research | Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics

By Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics
July 16, 2018

Abstract submission deadline is September 15, 2018. Inquiries and abstracts should be submitted to Dr. Gabrielle Samuel (

There has been a massive rise in the number of researchers using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs and online forums as sources of data for research. Social media site data are used as an effective way to recruit large numbers of participants; as intervention platforms for specific health conditions; and as a general source of seemingly publicly available data to be analysed using a variety of methodological approaches, including data modeling, large quantitative (‘big data”) analyses, and smaller in-depth qualitative analyses.

Ethical debate about social media research has lagged behind innovation. Nonetheless, over the past decade, literature has framed key ethical issues as relating to consent and privacy: how the use of social media data should influence practices of consent, and how this should relate to social media users’ possible perceived expectations of privacy when using social media platforms. More recently, broader questions have been raised regarding what ‘ethical’ social media research should look like along the whole research process, from research question to publication, dissemination and aftercare; and how, if at all, such research should be ethically governed by the research ethical review process. Little consensus remains about ethical best practices.

It is our pleasure to invite international scholars working in the field of social media research, anthropology, public health, humanities, ethics, sociology and any other related discipline to contribute to this JERHRE special issue. The aim is to highlight and promote awareness about the ethical complexities involved in conducting social media research, whilst at the same time trying to move the ethical discussion about social media research forward. The special issue will contain an end article reviewing the debates discussed in the special issue with a view to informing best practices for social media research.

Source: Call for Papers: Ethical Issues in Social Media Research

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