Online research methods
Online research methods (ORMs) are ways in which researchers can collect data via the internet. They are also referred to as Internet research, Internet science or iScience, or Web-based methods. Many of these online research methods are related to existing research methodologies but re-invent and re-imagine them in the light of new technologies and conditions associated with the internet. The field is relatively new and evolving. With the growth of social medias a new level of complexity and opportunity has been created. Inclusion of social media research can provide unique insights into consumer and societal segments and gaining an "emotional" measure of a population on issues of interest.
Some specific types of method include:
- Online content analysis
- Online focus groups
- Online interviews
- Online qualitative research
- Online questionnaires
- Social network analysis
- Web-based experiments
- Online clinical trials – or see below
Online clinical trials
Clinical trials are at the heart of current evidence based medical care. They are, however, traditionally expensive and difficult to undertake. Using internet resources can, in some cases, reduce the economic burden, and may have other benefits in Medicine. Paul et al., in The Journal of Medical Internet Research, describe the background and methodologies of online clinical trials and list examples.
The advent of social media has recently led to new online research methods, for example data mining of large datasets from such media or web-based experiments within social media that are entirely under the control of researchers, e.g. those created with the software Social Lab.
- Reips, U.-D. (2012). Using the Internet to collect data. In H. Cooper, P. M. Camic, R. Gonzalez, D. L. Long, A. Panter, D. Rindskopf, & K. J. Sher (eds.), APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology, Vol 2: Research designs: Quantitative, qualitative, neuropsychological, and biological (pp. 291-310). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. doi:10.1037/13620-017
- Reips, U.-D., & Bosnjak, M. (Eds.). (2001). Dimensions of Internet Science. Lengerich: Pabst. http://iscience.deusto.es/archive/reips/dis/
- Reips, U.-D. (2006). Web-based methods. In M. Eid & E. Diener (Eds.), Handbook of multimethod measurement in psychology (pp. 73-85). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. doi:10.1037/11383-006
- Reips, U.-D. (2013). Internet-based studies. In Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner (eds.), Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine (Part 9, pp. 1097-1102). Berlin: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_28
- The Internet and Clinical Trials: Background, Online Resources, Examples and Issues. James Paul; Rachael Seib; Todd Prescott. Journal of Medical Internet Research Vol 7 (1) 2005. http://www.jmir.org/2005/1/e5/ (accessed 12 Feb 2009).
- Reips, U.-D., & Garaizar, P. (2011). Mining Twitter: Microblogging as a source for psychological wisdom of the crowds.Some websites specialize in creation of online content such as http://perfectscholars.com/ Behavior Research Methods, 43, 635-642. doi:10.3758/s13428-011-0116-6
- Garaizar, P. & Reips, U.-D. (2013). Build your own social network laboratory with Social Lab: a tool for research in social media. Behavior Research Methods. doi 10.3758/s13428-013-0385-3
- Hooley, Tristram John Marriott and Jane Wellens, What is Online Research? Using the Internet for Social Science Research (Bloomsbury Academic, 2012) ISBN 978-1-8496-6554-4 (open access online)
- Exploring online research methods
- Association of Online Internet Researchers Ethical Report
- iScience Server
- List of online research studies
- "Online Research Methodology: Using the Internet and the Web for Research and Publication"-Tarun Tapas Mukherjee, Bhatter College, Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies. Vol. 2, 2012. http://bcjms.bhattercollege.ac.in
- The International Journal of Internet Science - a journal that publishes articles on online research methods
- Annual General Online Research Conference
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