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Social Media, Research Ethics and Your Research - Research Week 2014 Presentation

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Social media platforms (like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) represent incredible potential for researchers to conduct research and recruit survey participants. This presentation looks at current and emerging issues in conducting research on social media and recruiting participants using social media channels.

This is a Research Training co-presentation I delivered with ECU's Research Ethics Officer during ECU's Research Week 2014. It's an updated version of the 2013 presentation.

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Social Media, Research Ethics and Your Research - Research Week 2014 Presentation

  1. 1. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Social media, research ethics and your research Kim Gifkins, ECU Research Ethics Officer Natacha Suttor, ECU Senior Online Marketing Coordinator Social media platforms (like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) represent incredible potential for researchers to conduct research and recruit survey participants. However the old rules still apply, along with some new rules too. This presentation looks at current and emerging issues in conducting research on social media and recruiting participants using social media channels. It also covers guidelines that apply to your activities, examples and some best practices.
  2. 2. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Fundamental shift Participants will access and share your surveys in different ways. Online Survey www. Online Survey www. Information Letter Information Letter This may happen with, or without, your awareness or consent…This may happen with, or without, your awareness or consent… Information Letter Information Letter Online Survey www. Online Survey www. ++
  3. 3. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Preparing your survey for distributing #1 Step One: In Qualtrics: Customise the social media options to include an informative title and description. • Different platforms can truncate/display this content differently
  4. 4. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Preparing your survey for distributing #2 Step Two: Use a link abbreviator (e.g. TinyURL, bit.ly, owl.ly, goo.gl) to create an easy to remember short link. It’s easier to remember and you’ll need it if you’re planning to recruit on Twitter. Qualtrics Link https://jfe.qualtrics.com/form/SV_b7n 812lzS15MJ7L Using owl.ly link abbreviator http://ow.ly/BxQ3T Online Survey www. Online Survey www. Information Letter Information Letter Qtip: http://www.qualtrics.com/university/researchsuite/dist ributing/basic-distribution/anonymous-survey-link/
  5. 5. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Distributing your survey #1 Step One: Ask if a news item could be added to (relevant) websites, ECU’s or those external to ECU. Note: • Be prepared to write the suggested news item and title, and get approval for it from Research Ethics (as well as the site owner) • In the case of ECU, this could be your School’s website (if your intention is to recruit from the wider community) and/or the Student news portal (if your intention is to recruit participants from ECU students who read the portal) • Always at the discretion of site owners: may depend on their news schedule and priorities as well as their objectives for their audiences and the site
  6. 6. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Distributing your survey #1 Public Facing School site Internal Facing Student News Online Survey www. Online Survey www. Information Letter Information Letter
  7. 7. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Distributing your survey #2 Step Two: Ask if your survey can be shared on existing social media presences, ECU’s or those external to ECU, where your survey is relevant. Note: • Be prepared to write the suggested post, and get approval for it from Research Ethics (as well as the site owner) • Always at the discretion of channel owners: may depend on their posting schedule and priorities as well as their objectives for their audiences and the presence • Some owners may decline to post on your behalf but allow you to post to their page
  8. 8. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Distributing your survey #2 Posts by Others to Page Post by Page Online Survey www. Online Survey www. Information Letter Information Letter
  9. 9. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week ResearchResearch Distributing your survey #2 GRSGRS AlumniAlumni (G) Current Students Current Students Prospective Students Prospective Students Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) • Company Page • University Page Focus on channels that will tap into existing audiences • For Facebook, the ECU Research page would be primary poster of calls to participants (of the ECU Facebook channels) • Owners of other ECU pages may choose to share* • For ECU channels on other platforms: if there’s a news item on a public ECU site (red), owners of presences on those platforms may choose to share* • Groups you’re a member of? ECUSRIECUSRI (G)
  10. 10. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Tips on sharing on social media • Write for your audience and your (desired) participants • Establish a hierarchy of information 1. Grab their attention with strong (and accurate) call to action (e.g. why they might be interested, why they might want to help) 2. Don’t waste their time, be upfront: A. Who might be eligible B. How long a commitment 3. Who are you (not personal details) and why you’re doing this research • Write to the information hierarchy (fields are platform specific), in terms of what goes where e.g. – What is in the headline/first sentence? – What is in the body text? – What is in the social sharing metadata (editable*) Platform tips at the end, if we have time…Platform tips at the end, if we have time…
  11. 11. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Everyone elseEveryone else When good intentions go pearshaped… When people will share with/without your knowledge, things have the potential to go haywire. Can be compounded if: • You need to recruit one-on-one/face-to-face, and/or • You are researching a subject/area/instance that is sensitive, and/or • You are recruiting from a very limited/select pool, and/or • The survey needs to be “invite only” It is important you set clear can do/can’t do boundaries from the start and in every transaction. Desired survey participants Desired survey participants Recruiter / Recruitment Method In a perfect world… You
  12. 12. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week National Statement – advice on social media? • “On-line research includes conducting on-line real-time group discussions using web-based chat-room technology (also known as E-groups) through the use of electronic bulletin boards and moderated email groups. On-line recruitment of participants provides the opportunity for extensive global participation in research. Data collection and dissemination can also be utilised on-line.” • A person’s decision to participate in research is to be: • voluntary • based on sufficient information and adequate understanding of both the proposed research and the implications of participation in it
  13. 13. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week National Statement 5.2.16 Information about research should be presented to participants in ways that help them to make good choices about their participation, and support them in that participation. 5.2.23 All documents and other material used in recruiting potential research participants, including advertisements, letters of invitation, information sheets and consent forms, should be approved by the review body. 5.2.25 In addition, a review body should retain on file a copy of each research proposal and application for ethical approval, including any information sheets, consent forms or relevant correspondence, in the form in which they were approved.
  14. 14. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Is social media right for your research? • Social media ≠ cheapest • Social media ≠ more participants • Social media ≠ least amount of effort • Social media ≠ last ditch solve • Need to consider: • How it addresses research aims and questions • How it affects the results of research
  15. 15. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week What will the ethics committee want to know? Desired survey participants Desired survey participants • Participants – Who are they? Who are they identifying as online? – How will you ask them to take part? – Are you involving particular groups of participants (e.g. children, young people, Indigenous Australians, etc) • Procedures – What are you asking participants to do? – Where will data collection take place? • Data/information/samples – Confidentiality – Data retention
  16. 16. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week STREAM ethics application
  17. 17. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Informed consent The information must be presented in ways suitable to each participant • Plain language • Purpose, methods, demands, risks and potential benefits • Opportunity to think about information • Ask any questions Tools & Guides: • How to Write in Plain English www.plainenglish.co.uk/files/howto.pdf • Measuring Text (For Websites) Readability: www.standards-schmandards.com/2005/measuring-text-readability and calculator www.standards- schmandards.com/exhibits/rix/ • Gunning Fog Index calculator: gunning-fog-index.com/ NS: Whether or not participants will be identified, research should be designed so that each participant’s voluntary decision to participate will be clearly established.
  18. 18. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Online surveys/questionnaires – HREC advice Where researchers propose conducting an online survey for research purposes (e.g. via Qualtrics, Survey Monkey), people may pass on the URL of the survey without the information letter or statement that informs participants about the research project. This can lead to a situation where data may be collected without informed consent – one of the possible consequences is that the data may then not be able to be used for the project. Where researchers propose data collection via an online survey, the information letter or statement should always form the first page of the survey (or a direct link to the information letter is included before the survey starts) to ensure that information about the study is provided to potential participants. Informed consent can be then established by an “I agree” button, or addition of a statement that indicates that completion of the survey implies consent to participate in the research. Online Survey www. Online Survey www. Information Letter Information Letter
  19. 19. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week What to send with your application All documents and other materials used in recruiting potential research participants, including: • Advertisements • Letters of invitation • Information sheets • Consent forms? Information Letter Information Letter ConsentConsentSocial media posts Including Platform Details Social media posts Including Platform Details Online Survey www. Online Survey www. Information Letter Information Letter Advertisements Including Publication/Platform Details Advertisements Including Publication/Platform Details
  20. 20. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Closing points • Work smarter not harder: focus on sharing surveys and on channels that will tap into existing audiences • Sharing can take time, build this into your ethics approval, recruitment timeline and expectations • Where sharing could cause issues: Set boundaries and be very clear about how your research can/can’t be shared in every transaction • Get all your ducks in a row: .e.g. short link, social media link data (Qualtrics) with an awareness of how people are likely to act, share and interact with your survey and postings • Observe, be mindful of space and interact with respect. • What people identify as online, is not necessarily what they are IRL • Protect yourself and your participants: privacy & security, digital shadow, reputation twitter.com/sockington Sockamillion @sockington I am Jason Scott's Cat. Waltham, MA · sockington.org Things go(ing) pear-shaped? Contact the Research Ethics Office: research.ethics@ecu.edu.au as first priority.
  21. 21. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Who are we? Natacha Suttor, Senior Online Marketing Coordinator Marketing and Communications Services Centre (Online Marketing Team), Edith Cowan University Where you can find me: Twitter: www.twitter.com/natachasuttor LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/natachasuttor Blog: www.ellipticalpointofview.com Kim Gifkins, Research Ethics Officer Office of Research & Innovation (Research Operations), Edith Cowan University Where you can find me: Email: researchethics@ecu.edu.au Telephone: +61 8 6304 2170
  22. 22. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Tips on sharing on social media • Write for your audience and your (desired) participants • Establish a hierarchy of information 1. Grab their attention with strong (and accurate) call to action (e.g. why they might be interested, why they might want to help) 2. Don’t waste their time, be upfront: A. Who might be eligible B. How long a commitment 3. Who are you (not personal details) and why you’re doing this research • Write to the information hierarchy (fields are platform specific), in terms of what goes where e.g. – What is in the headline/first sentence? – What is in the body text? – What is in the social sharing metadata (editable*)
  23. 23. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Different platforms do things differently Twitter • Tweet = 140 characters but tweet with link = 117 characters • You don’t have 117 characters to play with if you want people to RT your tweet. You need to leave space for people to RT with comment (So 117 - ~20 characters = ~97 characters) • Always use a link abbreviator (e.g. owl.ly, bit.ly, tinyurl) • Different best practices for different outcomes: – If you want people to RT, use “Please ReTweet” or “Please RT” in your tweet – If you want people to click on your link, put the link 25% of the way through your tweet:, use “please” “RT” “Via” or ”Check” in your tweet and tweet late in the day/on weekends • Don’t place the link at the end, it will be the first thing truncated (and therefore broken link) if people RT with too many characters Want to know more? Start here: ellipticalpointofview.com/category/channels/twitter-channels And here: danzarrella.com/infographic-social-calls-to-action-work.html
  24. 24. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Different platforms do things differently Facebook • Status Update: 63,206 characters • Truncates at ~400 characters • Best practices for different outcomes: – If you want people to “share”, “comment” or “like”, use those words and/or include a photo – If you want people to share, write a long post (400-800 chars) – If you want people like, write a short post (0-100 chars) • When sharing links: – Photos get more engagement* Want to know more? Start here: ellipticalpointofview.com/2013/09/17/tip-when-writing-an-status-update-on-facebook And here: danzarrella.com/infographic-social-calls-to-action-work.html
  25. 25. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Different platforms do things differently LinkedIn If you post an update – Activity Update: 600 characters – Truncates at: • ~294 characters in the news feed • ~274 characters on your profile page If you post into groups: – People may get group notifications daily or weekly – In your inbox, notifications can truncate your subject line and description • Title (200 chars) = subject line = ~ 87 characters display in inbox • Discussion (4000 chars) = Email Body = ~96 characters Want to know more? Start here: ellipticalpointofview.com/2013/09/16/tip-when-writing-an-activity-update-on-linkedin
  26. 26. Contact Info: www.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/weekwww.ecu.edu.au/research/week Examples of ethics guidelines and resources Ethical Decision-Making and Internet Research aoir.org/reports/ethics2.pdf Association of Internet Researchers wiki ethics.aoir.org/ e-Ethics@Nottingham: Ethical Issues in Digitally Based Research www.nottingham.ac.uk/sociology/pdfs/ethics- documents/e-ethics@nottingham-briefing-and-good- practice.pdf A review of research ethics in internet-based research 194.81.189.19/ojs/index.php/prhe/article/viewFile/100/ 192 Ethical considerations for internet research www.goodresearchpractice.stir.ac.uk/documents/Inter net-basedresearchguidelines.pdf Online survey tools: ethical and methodological concerns of human research ethics committees www.sis.pitt.edu/~peterb/papers/JER0402_05.pdf

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