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LETTER OF INFORMATION FOR CONSENT TO PARTICIPATE IN RESEARCH

Title of Study: A survey of the research attitudes and practices of Canadian social scientists

You are asked to participate in a research study conducted Fuschia M. Sirois, Ph.D., and Craig Ross, MA, from the Department of Psychology at the University of Windsor.

If you have any questions or concerns about the research, please feel free to contact Fuschia M. Sirois, Ph.D. (Faculty Investigator) at (519) 253-3000 ext. 2224, or fsirois@uwindsor.ca.

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

In this study we are exploring the attitudes of Canadian social scientists towards using the Internet as a data collection tool. We are also interested in how Canadian researchers and those conducting research in Canada use the Internet for data collection in their research, as well as the reasons for not using this research tool.

PROCEDURES

If you volunteer to participate in this study, we would ask you to do the following things:

You will be asked to complete an on-line survey that includes questions about general demographic information, and several self-report measures regarding your practices, knowledge, and attitudes towards computers, the Internet, and conducting on-line research. It is estimated that the survey will take on average anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes to complete. Anyone who conducts social science research and who works in Canada is eligible to participate.

POTENTIAL RISKS AND DISCOMFORTS

There are no anticipated risks or discomforts associated with participating in this study.

POTENTIAL BENEFITS TO SUBJECTS AND/OR TO SOCIETY

You may become more aware of your attitudes, strengths and limitations with regards to computer and Internet use, and conducting on-line research. This can provide you with a greater awareness of areas for improvement regarding these topics. You will also be provided with the answers to the Internet knowledge quiz after submitting your survey, and links to resources for conducting on-line research that may be useful.

We are unaware of any other research investigations which have specifically examined the attitudes and practices of Canadian social scientists with respect to conducting on-line research, or the factors associated with use or non-use of the Internet as a data collection tool. This study has the potential to increase knowledge and awareness in these areas.

PAYMENT FOR PARTICIPATION

There is no direct compensation for participating in this research.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Any information that is obtained in connection with this study and that can be identified with you will remain confidential and will be disclosed only with your permission.

Several steps will be taken to ensure the confidentiality of your survey data. All incoming electronic surveys will travel through a secure third party electronic server that strips the sender’s e-mail address before delivery to protect the participants’ anonymity.  The "stripping" is done mechanically and involves the deletion of email address information that would normally be attached to a survey response that is received electronically. All survey responses received will be stored on a secure University server.

All electronic survey responses will be stored on a password protected computer. Only the researchers directly associated with this study will have access to this information for the purposes of analysis and conducting the study. Any reports of this study made available to participants or sent to a scientific journal for publication will contain information that reflects group results and not information about specific individuals. Following the guidelines of the Canadian and American Psychological Associations, data will be retained for a period of 5 years post publication in a secure place, after which time it will be disposed of in a secure manner (e.g. electronically deleted).

PARTICIPATION AND WITHDRAWAL

You can choose whether to be in this study or not.  If you volunteer to be in this study, you may withdraw at any time up to the point before you submit your electronic survey responses without consequences of any kind.  You may also refuse to answer any questions you don’t want to answer and still remain in the study.  The investigator may withdraw you from this research if circumstances arise which warrant doing so.

FEEDBACK OF THE RESULTS OF THIS STUDY TO THE SUBJECTS

Once the research is complete a brief report explaining the findings from this study will be available for those interested. The report will be available on the study website

Web address: http://www.uwindsor.ca/online_research
Date when results are available: September 2009

SUBSEQUENT USE OF DATA

This data will be used in subsequent studies.

RIGHTS OF RESEARCH SUBJECTS

You may withdraw your consent at any time and discontinue participation without penalty. If you have questions regarding your rights as a research subject, contact: Research Ethics Coordinator, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4; Telephone: 519-253-3000, ext. 3948; e‑mail: ethics@uwindsor.ca

SIGNATURE OF INVESTIGATOR

These are the terms under which I will conduct research.

Fuschia M. Sirois, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology                                                                 

University of Windsor

It is recommended that you print out a copy of this letter of information for your records. Click here to print a PDF version of this file.
Pass it on: Feel free to send this page to other social science researchers you know who might be interested in completing the survey.

It is also recommended that you turn off your pop-up blockers before beginning the survey.


Do you wish to continue? To acknowledge that you have read and understood this information and would like to continue with the survey, please click on “I agree”.

I Agree

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