Ethical Research

There could possibly that my research about how open data released by Canadian municipal governments is used and/or organized by groups of citizens to create applications or objects intended for use by other citizens of their municipality would need to be reviewed by a research  ethics board.

I have been considering the option of interviewing the participants in hackathons, apps contests and/or members of the groups creating applications out of the open data. Hackathons are gatherings where people get together to use and analyze data for general information or to create something like an app from it. Apps contests are events, normally sponsored by the government, where people are encouraged to develop applications and/or visualizations from government open data.

Since my research questions are directly connected by how and why groups of people interact with open data, it would be useful to interview some participants. It seems to me that I would have to do a delegated ethics review because the risk associated with being interviewed is minimal since the questions would not be of a personal nature, nor would the interviewees have to discuss any sensitive information. Furthermore, the groups of people I would be interviewing are not a vulnerable group since they are adults participating in the use of open data. There aren’t really any research risks or possible identifiable harms. There also aren’t any physiological, emotional or social issues associated with it either.

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Filed under Blogging Question, Week 5

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