Information and Internet technology has developed expeditiously in the recent years. This put forward the opportunities to enhance a research through the internet. Data collection has became a lot easier and the data collected would be more “generalisable” to the entire population because there is a really huge group of potential participants (that the age, job, location of the P are all varied). However here comes a problem : whether the data collection/sources would be ethical?
To protect participants’ privacy, it is necessary that letting the participants aware of the fact that they are going to take part in the research(informed consent) and if the data is collected through some websites(instead of online survey/questionnaire) that considered as private site(personal blog or personal website), the best way is to contact the owner of the site first to seek for permission to use the information. In addition researchers should not directly quote from the website that may be addressed by the searching engine, for example google.
Other than ethical problem, there are few more problems that researchers should be aware of, for example the researchers have to identify whether the information on the internet is real or not. Therefore we should be careful when selecting,filtering and/or collecting any information/data on the internet.
In my opinion, if the researchers can carry out the research step by step following the guidelines, there should not be any problem(minor problem may appears like normal research usually has). And carrying out research by using the internet would be far less time consuming and easier for both researchers and participants. And might as well become the trend of researching in the future.(But surely will be more developed, like the structure and rules/guidelines would be clearer)