Conducting research via email or social media
- IRB information must be included in your recruitment request email
- You must follow KSU’s policy regarding both Email Usage and Mass Email Usage Policy
- If you plan to conduct research via social media, please specify how you plan to do this within your application form under Description of the Research – Data collection procedures.
Application Form Tips
The description of the research should include brief comments on:
Purpose of research: Briefly describe the purpose of the research. Describe the problem to be investigated, the reason for conducting the research. Include any broadly stated research questions or issues being investigated. You may wish to include hypotheses.
Nature of data to be collected: Describe the type of data to be collected such as demographic data, answers to open-ended questions, responses to Likert scaled statements, specimen to be collected, video tapes, audio tapes, etc.
Data collection procedures: Describe the manner in which data will be collected. This section should describe exactly what participants are being asked to do; e.g., participants may be asked to participate in a focus group discussion, or participants may be asked to complete an online survey using SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics.
Instruments to be used: Describe the “instruments” to be used; i.e., questionnaire, interview outline, survey, etc. Email a copy of each with your approval request form and consent document(s). For those conducting classroom research, detail whether instruments are being used strictly for research purposes or are part of normal classroom activity.
Method of selection/recruitment of participants: Describe how participants will be identified and contacted; e.g., if students in classes will be asked to complete a survey, then list the specific classes and instructors. It is generally better if the person administering a survey is not the instructor of record. Attach any recruitment advertisements to be used.
Participant age range, number and gender: Provide expected age range even if all participants are expected to be adults. If there is a chance that participants may include minors, make certain that appropriate parental consent and child assent is included. Provide the expected number of participants and the expected distribution of males and females.
Incentives, follow-ups, compensation to be used: Describe incentives that will be given to participants as well as any methods used to avoid penalizing those who do not participate. The IRB generally recommends against extra credit in classes.
Please refer to the guideline below which will provide you the guidance needed for research being done that includes remuneration in order to choose the appropriate process and method of payment as well as what record keeping requirements are needed.
Provide a complete description of any procedures that may involve any risk to the participant and indicate alternative procedures that may be used, if any. The legal or ethical concerns involved should be addressed, safety precautions to be taken should be listed, and a justification for procedures involving risks or discomforts included. If the research involves any potential risks to the participant, participants must be advised of the risks and the availability and limits of treatment for any sustained injuries. Note that risks may be physical, psychological, social, economic or legal.
Research involving human participants must not be conducted unless the benefit to the participant AND the importance to humankind outweigh any potential risk to the participant. Describe any and all benefits from conducting this study. Also note that benefits cannot be guaranteed. The use of human subjects cannot be approved without some form of perceived benefit identified.
Informed Consent is a Requirement
Informed consent means the knowing consent of an individual (or his/her legally authorized representative) is so situated as to be able to exercise free choice without undue inducement or any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, or other forms of constraint or coercion.
To ensure that all mandatory elements of informed consent are addressed, researchers are encouraged to review the Consent Checklist. We have provided IRB approved Consent Templates along with a description of each that will assist in assuring the timely processing of your application.
If deception or manipulation is employed in your research, describe how participants will be deceived, the necessity for deception or manipulation and your debriefing procedures, including the timing and information to be presented to the participant. The IRB requires a written debriefing for these studies.
If you will be utilizing an online survey program to collect data, you must notify your participants in your consent document as to whether Internet Protocol addresses will or will not be collected by the online program, and the first page of your online survey must contain the consent document.
Future Contact with Participants
If you would like to contact your participants in the future place a check box on your consent form asking for permission to do so. For example:
We would like to contact you at a future date using your email address (about this research, to conduct followup interviews, to send another questionnnaire, etc.). Please check one of the boxes below.
[ ] Yes, please use my information to contact me in the future. My preferred email address is ________________
[ ] No, I am not interested in future contact.
In research with minors or other vulnerable populations, informed consent is especially necessary, and in most cases, will be obtained from parents or legal guardians. An understandable explanation of the research procedures and an opportunity to volunteer to participate should be supplied to the participants as well as their authorized representative. This is called “assent.” Their wishes determine their participation. If your research will not include minors, then the consent form or cover letter should state that only persons 18 or older are eligible to participate. Vulnerable populations may include cognitively impaired, economically disadvantaged, educationally disadvantaged, elderly, homeless seeking social services, people with limited or restricted physical or mental ability, people with limited understanding of English, pregnant women, students and employees.
Whenever possible, the participants should remain anonymous; otherwise appropriate confidentiality should be maintained. Procedures for maintaining confidentiality should be described in detail, including who will have access to the data and on what basis. If survey instruments are to be used, list the anticipated date identifiers will be removed from the completed instruments. Describe how data will be stored, as well as how and when it will be destroyed. Provide justification if identifiable information will be retained and indicate measures to be used to protect participants’ confidentiality.
Participants must be assured that their data will be confidential in any research, but if individually identifiable data relate to illegal activities by identifiable persons, no guarantee can be given if disclosure of the data should be required by law. When anonymous questionnaires are involved, but written informed consent must be obtained, the consent form can be signed and returned separately to prevent any possibility of linking names with the data.
Data Security and Protection
Include a well-articulated plan for storage of your data during collection, analysis and dissemination. Please review the information found on UITS’ Document Management Matrix to find the available document management solutions and the types of data that can be stored in each. OHRP federal guidelines also mandate a 3-year records retention that begins on the study’s closure date.
Will your research be conducted outside the United States either in person or online? If so, any International data collection requires additional steps before approval will be given.
Federal-wide Assurance of Compliance
The KSU IRB holds a Federal-wide Assurance (FWA) of Compliance with the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) under number 00004584.
KSU's IRB is registered with OHRP under IRB00001469. Kennesaw State University’s FWA expires on August 7, 2020.
Submission of an application for review by the IRB indicates that this policy available in pdf form below has been read and understood by the investigator.Federal-wide Assurance of Compliance