Internet Research

Internet Research is research that investigates the way individuals, communities, and nations, use computer network technologies and the interconnections those technologies provide in their everyday lives as parents, researchers, workers, entertainers, institutions, governments or whatever they were, are or are becoming. It is an expansive field for research and has become accepted Since its first Internet Research conference in 2000, the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) has produced a solid body of research, exemplified in its Research Annual and numerous publications.This presentation will provide an overview of several trends and methods within the field of internet research as exemplified by the AoIR’s first five conferences, and extrapolates some future directions for research based on those trends and methods. Some of the specific trends that will be discussed are: the internationalization of collaborative internet research, the development of an understanding of community norms and self-governance of internet-based organizations, and the needs for ethical internet based research. Some of the methods that will be introduced will be qualitative research, ethnographic research, community and/or network modeling, and mixed methodology internet research. These trends and methods in internet research point toward a future in which ethical, transdisciplinary research, pursued across national boundaries will become the core of the major projects for internet research.