Article: Stanton, J. (2010) Virtual Worlds, the IRB and a User’s Bill of Rights

Journal of Virtual World Research - Volume 3, Nr 1Title: Virtual Worlds, the IRB and a User’s Bill of Rights
Author: Jeffrey M. Stanton
Year: 2010
Additional: Journal of Virtual Worlds Research 3 (1)
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Virtual worlds provide a vibrant and exciting new venue for the conduct of social
research. New social phenomena have emerged in the context of these worlds as
individuals and groups use the worlds’ social communication tools to overcome
limitations of time and distance. Yet these worlds also pose some novel ethical problems
for social researchers who wish to conduct their work in these contexts. The present
paper discusses ethical dimensions of research in virtual worlds in order to uncover
some of these novel problems. The paper reports and analyzes a case study in which the
author participated in a virtual world research study. The paper discusses a preliminary
version of a virtual world subject’s bill of rights that can serve as the basis for further
discussion among social researchers. The paper concludes with recommendations for
virtual worlds researchers on strategies for working with their institutional review
boards (human subjects ethics review) to obtain approval for their research proposals.

Virtual Worlds, the IRB and a User’s Bill of Rights
The Research Ethics Context in Brief
Applying the Belmont Principles to Virtual Worlds
Case Study: Participation in a Virtual World
Ethical Analysis of the Case
Virtual World Subjects’ Bill of Rights: Version 0.01
Working with Institutional Review Boards

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