This methodological guidance has been designed as a basic toolkit and reference point to ensure that researchers participating in the GKO programme critically reflect on potential ethical issues and mitigation strategies, and uphold the highest ethical standards when undertaking the research.

Author: Gabrielle Berman

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Berman, GThis method guide is specifically tailored to support ethical research practice within the Global Kids Online (GKO) programme. While research on children’s use of the internet requires consideration of universal ethical principles, this type of research presents unique ethical dilemmas which reflect the diverse contexts and the nature of internet use in the varied social, political and economic environments that exist globally (Hongladarom & Ess, 2007).

The paper provides (1) an overview of potential ethical issues that need to be considered when undertaking the GKO research programme, (2) a step-by-step guide, illustrated by relevant case studies, to questions and approaches to consider before or when ethical dilemmas arise throughout the research process, (3) useful references to support ethical practice in GKO, (4) a protection protocol template to assist reflection on and documentation of actions that can be taken to ensure that children and communities are protected throughout the research process, and finally (5) templates and guidance on how to handle participant disclosure of abuse revealed during the research process.

The guide also includes: a protection protocol template which outlines key principles and actions that can be taken to safeguard the rights of children, adolescents, young people, their families, and communities, as well as staff; a protocol for handling disclosure of child abuse or neglect during fieldwork; a number of relevant case studies; and a list of key resources.  

All resources developed by Global Kids Online, including this report, are available under a Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC) and can be used only for non-commercial purposes and with attribution.

The preferred citation for this report is:

Berman, Gabrielle (2016) Ethical considerations for research with children. London: Global Kids Online. Available from:

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