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View Diary: Do you want to be part of an awesome research project? (280 comments)

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  •  Was this study approved by your IRB? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude, MKSinSA, annan, MT Spaces

    If not, your college/university could be in trouble for possible violations of Federal regulations on the conduct of human subjects research. The reason I wonder whether your study had been passed by your Institutional Review Board is it does not start off with some the required information for participants (e.g., contact information for the researcher and the IRB).

    •  I remember a discussion about that, and I think (15+ / 0-)

      small projects like this didn't fall into that category. That would be a hell of a way to be expelled, wouldn't it?

      "Why were you expelled?"
      "I asked people if they knew what a tornado warning was."

      •  Plus... (16+ / 0-)

        I'm not asking if people were raped, or if they take bong hits while murdering people. If I went to a jail and interviewed people on whether or not they got off on killing people, THAT would be grounds for the IRB, but since this is a simple survey about tornadoes that can't be linked back to the respondent, I should be exempt.

        Studies that are exempt from IRB approval are listed in 7 C.F.R. § 1c.101:

        2. Research involving the use of educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), survey procedures, interview procedures or observation of public behavior, unless:
        information obtained is recorded in such a manner that human subjects can be identified, directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects; and
        any disclosure of the human subjects' responses outside the research could reasonably place the subjects at risk of criminal or civil liability or be damaging to the subjects' financial standing, employability, or reputation.
      •  The rules for class projects are not very (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        weatherdude, Aunt Pat, MT Spaces

        clear-cut, but a general "be on the safe side" rule is that if data are collected from people who are not members of the class involved, then IRB approval is required. Even though most survey research is classified as "exempt," the IRB must review the proposed study to verify its exempt status.

        •  Only if you intend to publish (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          weatherdude, kyril, Aunt Pat, MT Spaces

          Weatherdude probably doesn't.

          •  HHS IRB regs (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            weatherdude, kyril, MT Spaces


            (d) Research means a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. Activities which meet this definition constitute research for purposes of this policy, whether or not they are conducted or supported under a program which is considered research for other purposes. For example, some demonstration and service programs may include research activities.
            I have done a lot of work with the IRB at my local institution (submissions, etc) - they don't review ones which don't count as 'research' i.e. you are not 'contributing to generalizable knowledge' by publishing.
            •  Thanks. (8+ / 0-)

              This is a class project that'll double as a personal research project. I might share the results with everyone, but since it's not scientific, there aren't many controls, and I didn't follow procedures necessary to have a solid study, even posting results here on DKos wouldn't count I don't think.

              Plus, the hundreds of research methods students that have to do the same assignment and survey people outside of class would swamp the IRB every semester with this. They wouldn't want to deal with that.

              •  When you post it back here, I'd think you could do (5+ / 0-)

                a big disclaimer there of the same sort you did here - that it's not controlled, etc.  That should cover things.

              •  IRB WARNING (0+ / 0-)

                Before you re-post any findings back here, you will need to check with IRB and include both the comments from the original thread as well as your instructions.  You will be publishing the findings of a purposive sample directly to the participants in a public forum.

                Here is why- IRB's central mission is to protect respondents from harm.  There is a low to moderate risk when collecting data using a purposive sample in which findings are to be reported directly back to respondents-especially if the data opens people up to personal attacks from other respondents or reveals sensitive information.

                If some troll decides to be an asshole, you could have problems.  However, you probably will not get busted because it would be very difficult to tell on you-but, you know how the online world can really screw people over-so play it safe.

      •  This is correct (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        weatherdude, MizC, ladybug53, Ebby, MT Spaces

        This type of survey wouldn't require IRB approval, because this doesn't fit the federal (or clinical) definition of "human subjects research"

        Private information must be individually identifiable (i.e., the identity of the subject is or may readily be ascertained by the investigator or associated with the information) in order for obtaining the information to constitute research involving human subjects.

        HHS Protection of Human Subjects Regulations
        Title 45 CFR Part 46

        If there was any concern, it would be in limiting the age of respondents to 18 or older; most educational institutions do not collect data from minors without informed consent from parent or guardian. You can get around that by adding a field where the respondent must enter a birth month/year to access the survey. When analyzing, discard all responses from those with a birth month/year < 18 years from the date they took the survey.

        "When did it fall apart? Sometime in the '80s / When the great and the good gave way to the greedy and the mean." - Billy Bragg

        by Vacationland on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 12:42:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks. (6+ / 0-)

          Out of the 294 responses I have so far (I can watch it in real-time), I've been watching that. Nobody under 19 so far.

          •  One more thing... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            weatherdude, MizC, ladybug53, MT Spaces

   should consider where you posted the link to the survey when you are analyzing your results, because your sample may show some bias that you want to account for.

            For example, there's some self-selection going on (the "l know or care enough about tornadoes to take a survey" people vs. the "tl;dr" short attention span/science-phobe crowd).

            Where you link can also skew results...if you put the link on blogs or message boards that cater to other people who study weather, to those who follow it as a hobby, or where people are likely to have read about tornadoes (like many of the people here, who may follow you and read your diaries), you should acknowledge that they are likely to have a higher-than-average level of knowledge/info on the subject than the general public.

            You may want to make sure you've posted links on general interest boards to broaden your pool of respondents and offset some of the inherent bias.

            "When did it fall apart? Sometime in the '80s / When the great and the good gave way to the greedy and the mean." - Billy Bragg

            by Vacationland on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 02:09:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It seems like you'll end up with a bit of a bias (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              weatherdude, MT Spaces, Vacationland

              toward blue states as well... witness all the Californians who are saying "well, we don't usually get tornadoes here..."  Hoefully that doesn't skew things too much.

              •  You can correct for that (0+ / 0-)

                If you know where the respondent lives, or at minimum, know if they live in a place where tornadoes do (or don't) happen. I'm trying to remember if there was such a question on the survey, or just a question about whether the respondent had personally witnessed one (absent info about the location of that indecent).  

                I'm one of those home, I've only seen a water spout, & "regular" tornadoes are very rare, but I have seen a very big tornado---during a business trip to Georgia. :-)

                "When did it fall apart? Sometime in the '80s / When the great and the good gave way to the greedy and the mean." - Billy Bragg

                by Vacationland on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 03:56:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Be very glad, Weatherdude! IRB (6+ / 0-)

          applications can be very challenging!  (i.e., a real pain in the rear, although I understand the reasons for doing them.)  I did my first 'for real' IRB application for a research project last year, and it was quite a learning experience!  (I used to beat on rocks, which didn't require the rock's consent.  Now I help people learn how to work together to solve common problems.  The admin hoops almost make me wistful for the rocks.  Almost.)

    •  You are wrong here. Small projects that are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      part of course work and course projects do not require IRB review.

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