Research Guidelines

The Digitally Literate project is an open research project. In this, we are conducting research openly online. We will share researcher notes in open blog posts. We will share data and interviews publicly that we have been given permission to share by the participants. We will conduct as much of this research in public online as possible.

This research has been reviewed by the Human Research Protections Program at the College of Charleston (IRB-2015-11-10-140816) and the University of Ottawa (File # 12-15-04).

Further privacy guidelines

We are conducting this research in public to not only answer our research questions but also understand the challenges and opportunities that exist in open access research.

Even with IRB approval, we want to be a bit more explicit about our work and motives. Online communication, such as tweets, blog posts, and comments are generally out in the open and technically “public” and available for researchers to analyze and quote.

Internet researchers have, however, documented how a particular communication may be technically public but viewed by the individual who posted it as meant for a more limited or private context.


  • AoIR. (2002). Ethical decision-making and Internet research: Recommendations from the AoIR ethics working committee. (accessed February 15, 2016).
  • AoIR. (2012). Ethical decision-making and Internet research 2.0: Recommendations from the AoIR ethics working committee. (accessed February 15, 2016)
  • Beaulieu, A., & Estalella, A. (2012). Rethinking research ethics for mediated settings. Information Communication and Society, 15(1):23–42. doi:10.1080/1369118X .2010.535838.
  • boyd, d. (2010). Making Sense of Privacy and Publicity. SXSW. Austin, Texas, March 13.
  • Charlesworth, A. (2012). Data protection, freedom of information and ethical review committee. Information Communication and Society ,15(1):85–103. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2011.637572.
  • Frankel, Mark S., and Sanyin Siang. 1999. Ethical and legal aspects of human subjects research in cyberspace: A report of a workshop, June 10–June 11, 1999, Washington, DC. download/ethical_legal.pdf (accessed February 16, 2016).
  • Hargittai, E. (Ed.) (2009). Research confidential: Solutions to problems most social scientists pretend they never have. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  • Livingstone, S., & Locatelli, E. (2014) Ethical dilemmas in qualitative research with youth on/offline. International Journal of Learning and Media, 4(2). pp. 67-75. ISSN 1943-6068 DOI: 10.1162/IJLM_a_00096


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