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D4.1 Report-Methodological Issues

D4.1 Report-Methodological Issues

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Published by: Pedro Miguel Ventura on May 31, 2010
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10/26/2011

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This review aims to enhance the understanding of methodological issues involved in studying
children and the Internet across countries. Our anticipated audience is broad, encompassing
all those concerned with empirical research in this field, as well as the broader field of
European comparative social science.

The review specifically aims to increase awareness of the criteria by which research can and
should be critically evaluated, the specialised issues that arise in researching children’s use
of online technologies in particular, the considerations to be borne in mind when
commissioning and designing new research.

The review is structured according to four main themes:

General research orientations, including qualitative and quantitative approaches to social
science research and the means of integrating these;

Researching children, including the specific ethical and age-related issues that arise in
this specialist field of research methodology;

Researching online technologies, addressing the balance between the application of
familiar and the development of new methods to address new technological phenomena;

Cross-national comparisons, addressing the issues of comparative methodology that
arise when conducting research in and/or for research users in more than one country.

The review is written as an academic review, its anticipated audiences being both academics
and research specialists/users in relevant policy, public and commercial organisations.

Our working assumption is that readers of this review may be already experienced in relation
to one or more of the above theme but wish to learn more of the others: an expert in
researching new technologies may, for example, know little about researching children; a
child specialist may not be familiar with cross-national comparative methodologies; and so on.

For those wishing a more advanced treatment of these issues, this review can only provide a
starting point. The bibliography is designed to identify future directions to pursue any of the
issues raised here, and we have sought to make it as multidisciplinary and multilingual as
practicable.

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