Life science researchers planning future projects that involve contact with people via the Internet can benefit from a new report based on experiences of sociologists, psychologists, and others.

The World Wide Web can be a virtual candy store for research into numerous topics. However, online researchers are discovering that the brave new world of research on the Web challenges them to define more specific frameworks for answering ethical questions of consent and privacy in cyberspace studies involving human subjects. Concerned researchers and college administrators are starting to ask federal funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health to help them determine the best ethical practices for their studies.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) released a report in December outlining recommendations for dealing with ethics of human subject research on the Internet. The guidelines will help the Office for the Protection of Research Risks (OPRR), the...

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