Children and young people use the internet and digital media as an integrated part of their everyday lives. It is therefore important to conduct research to understand more about how these technologies are used, about associated risks and opportunities, and about the consequences of these for children and young people’s everyday lives and well-being. Engaging children and young people in online research however introduces a range of ethical considerations. These arise throughout the research process, and include how participants are recruited and how informed consent is secured. Considerations also relate to how data is accessed, stored and managed, and how data ownership is negotiated. Research that involves children and young people also requires consideration of how research-based relationships are constructed and maintained, and how vulnerable research participants can be supported. Finally researchers need to consider how online data can be analysed and research findings disseminated. Further important considerations relate to how online research introduces new challenges regarding the relative publicity and privacy of data, how it generally involves networks of users and audiences and how the identity of research participants can be validated.
Key areas of research ethics: What are key ethical considerations in online research with children?
This key area provides an introduction to the ethical considerations that arise in online research with children and young people and provides links to related resources. We also include more detailed information about the following frequently asked questions:
Which ethical considerations arise when recruiting children and young people to online research projects?
How can researchers support the participation of children and young people in online research?
What factors can support researchers in assessing the relative privacy or publicity of data accessed in online research?
On this page, you also find resources to help you understand research ethics and why research with and about children must be conducted ethically and responsibly. The resources include animated films, key readings, webinars, blogs, links to our Zotero library and more.
A reading list and other resources you may want to check out...
Additional guidelines and legislation
What are key ethical considerations in online research with children?What are key ethical considerations in online research with children?
Watch the CO:RE animated movie to help researchers explain kids' rights as research participants
Video: "Have you been invited to participate in research? Then you should watch this film."; a resource for researchers working with children and young people. | License: CC-By-NC-SA | If you should have trouble loading this video or want to see this movie in other languages, you can watch it here on our YouTube channel. | Please cite as: Staksrud, E., Ní Bhroin, N., Torp, I.S., & Johannessen, L.O. (2022). Have you been invited to participate in research? Then you should watch this film. Retrieved DD Month YYYY, from https://core-evidence.eu/posts/open-source-movie-childrens-rights-as-research-participants.