Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Online Dispute Resolution
Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is a branch of dispute resolution which uses technology to facilitate the resolution of disputes between parties. It primarily involves negotiation, mediation or arbitration, or a combination of all three. In this respect it is often seen as being the online equivalent of Alternative dispute resolution (ADR). However, ODR can also augment these traditional means of resolving disputes by applying innovative techniques and online technologies to the process.
In practice it is difficult to provide a self-contained definition of ODR, and given the pace of change it may not even be possible to do so. The use of technology usually involves the use of internet-based communications technology at some stage, but ODR does not necessarily involve purely online processes – further, many could be replicated offline using pen and paper, or could be achieved using computers without internet connections.
The range of terms and acronyms used to describe the field augments the confusion often felt by those unfamiliar with the new field of ODR. These terms include:
- internet Dispute Resolution (iDR)
- Electronic Dispute Resolution (eDR)
- electronic ADR (eADR)
- online ADR (oADR)
ODR has emerged as the preferred term in recent years, a development which has been emphasised by the redevelopment of the website of University of Massachusetts Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution (CITDR) as odr.info
It is uncertain whether these processes form a new discipline of ADR or a tool to aid existing methods of dispute resolution. The most appropriate view would be to view ODR as an interdisciplinary field of dispute resolution.
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