The Romance Genre on the Web

Researching online romance genre communities and their perspectives

Information for Blog Participants

une logo School of English, Communication and Theatre, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351 Australia.

This page contains key information for participants in this research blog, as required by the University of New England’s Research Ethics policy.

As described in the About this research blog page, this blog is part of my research for my PhD candidature in the School of English, Communication and Theatre at the University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia. The project title is: Online communities of romance readers and writers and their perspectives on the genre. Through this project, I am exploring the nature and scope of romance readers’ and writers’ participation in online communities, and their perspectives on key issues and themes within the genre.

This project has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of New England. HREC approval number is: HE07/022.

Because the research project is exploring online communities of romance readers and writers, the research methodology includes an approach known as virtual ethnography, in which the researcher studies a community through participation in the community. This research blog is part of that methodology, and through it I hope to actively engage with romance readers, writers and industry professionals to discuss and explore issues, themes and perspectives on the romance genre. The blog format, being openly accessible to anyone with an internet connection, enables anyone interested to participate in their own time and at their own pace. You may contribute as much or as little as you wish.

If you choose to contribute to the discussion by posting a comment, you may use your own name, a pseudonym, or label your post as ‘anonymous’ as you choose. While the software asks you to enter an email address to deter spam comments, this email address is NOT published on the blog, and will not be collated, given away, sold, or in anyway distributed to others, or published in any research articles, reports or books.

If you make a comment, and on later reflection wish it to be removed, you may contact me by email identifying which comment was yours and I will delete it on your request.

The comment box allows you to post a link to your own website if you wish, and you are welcome to do so, as it is intended that this blog be a part of the online romance genre community and links are an important aspect of the community. Please note, however, that spam comments with no content relevant to the discussion will be deleted at my discretion, as will comments that link to pornographic or other inappropriate sites.

You are also welcome to link to this blog from your own blog or website if you wish to do so.

Please note that by commenting on this blog, it is assumed that you:

  • have read the information contained in this Information for Blog Participants page;
  • have agreed to participate in this research, understanding that you may request your comment/s to be deleted at any time;
  • have agreed that any comment you make on this research blog may be published, using the name or pseudonym that you used to post;

This research project also includes an online survey. There is a link to the online survey from this blog, which goes through a separate Information for Survey Participants page that you should read before choosing whether to participate in the survey. Your contributions to this blog are in no way linked to the survey, which is anonymous.

The results of this research project may be presented at relevant conferences or published in academic journals and other genre-relevant publications. No identifying data from this blog other than the name or pseudonym under which you choose to post will be published. The data that the WordPress blog software collects (the email address you submit, and the IP address of the computer from which you post) is stored securely on a server which is password protected and will not be published or distributed in any form.

In case you have any inquiries regarding the project or about your possible involvement in the project, you can contact me at any time using the contact details below.

If on the other hand you would like to speak to an officer of the University not involved in the study, or should you have any complaints concerning the manner in which this research is conducted, please contact the Research Ethics Officer at the following address:
Research Services
University of New England
Armidale, NSW 2351.
Telephone: (02) 6773 3449 Facsimile (02) 6773 3543

Yours sincerely,

Ms Bronwyn Clarke
PhD Candidate
School of English, Communication and Theatre
University of New England
Armidale NSW 2351
Telephone: 02-6773 3746
Facsimile: 02-6773 3269

Dr Leonie Rutherford
Senior Lecturer
School of English, Communication and Theatre
University of New England
Armidale NSW 2351
Telephone: 02-6773 2644
Facsimile: 02-6773 2623