This paper reflects on the ethical procedures encountered, and methodological strategies adopted, in order to develop and conduct qualitative research with children to explore their relationship to, and through, information and communication technologies (ICT). The study was conducted in Australia, which like many other nations, adopted a formal, mandatory institutional ethics framework historically formed in response to real and potential unethical and harmful research. This is now associated with a broader agenda of of risk-management and protection in universities which must be managed to enable the right of children to participate fully in research that affects them. Since calls for more multi-dimensional research with children and ICT have been made (Livingstone and Helsper, 2007; Livingstone, 2010), few academic studies have delved into the ethical processes and negotiations involved in such research, especially within academic institutions that are bounded by strict ethical and risk-management processes. This paper contributes to the growing field of appropriate research methods and methodologies, and their circumspection, for study with ICT connected-children, and adds to the growing debates around ethically including children in academic research.
- children's participation
- ethics committees
- information and communication technologies