David Callejo Pérez
January 17, 2013
Submission deadline: January 3, 2013
Research using the Internet has unique characteristics that are not directly addressed by the Federal regulations. Currently, the Internet is used primarily for two research activities – recruitment of participants and survey administration. Most human participants protection issues that arise in conducting research activities on the Internet concern privacy/confidentiality and true informed consent. The ability to consent is difficult to ascertain over the Internet. Generally, this ability is related to age, but may be relevant to other vulnerable populations (e.g., decision ally impaired, incarcerated). Also, email-based activities are far less secure than website-based activities. Software exists to enhance the privacy of both types of activities. The University strongly recommends that researchers work with a vendor that specializes in Internet-based research to minimize risks in these areas.
Internet-based studies may not include minors as participants unless the IRB waives written parental permission and informed consent.
After reading information about the study, the individual must be required click a button either to indicate his or her wish to continue or to leave the site and opt out of participation. After clicking the button, the subject will be taken via a link to the study task. If the individual opts out, clicking the button will exit the site.
Generally, Internet-based surveys do not require written documentation of consent. If the IRB does require such documentation, the following additional procedures must be used:
The following apply to all types of study materials: