Online research methods are increasingly common across scholarly disciplines. Particular scientific and ethical issues arise for online researchers in the areas of recruitment, consent, and risk/benefit analyses. This webinar addressed three “hot topics” in online survey research:
- Subject identification: Online recruitment methods face unique challenges in validating whether participants are human, unique, and eligible to participate. Presenters share strategies that address the challenges of misrepresentation and participant verification in online survey studies.
- Models of consent: Online consent processes are evolving, shaped by technology, online risk, and user demand. Optional consent, tailored consent, implied consent, and other approaches facilitated by online communication are changing how we think about and approach consent. Presenters examine the evolution of consent in the era of smart technologies and pervasive connectivity and ponder the future of online consent.
- Risk/benefit analyses: What constitutes risk in online research? Are there new ways of thinking about minimal risk? As cybersecurity breaches occur on almost a daily basis, how can researchers minimize risk? In this segment, presenters discuss confidentiality concerns, collection of personal information, and research integrity issues in risk/benefit analyses.
What Will I Learn?
By the end of this intermediate-level webinar, participants were able to:
- Flag issues with subject identification during IRB review, and raise questions for how subject identity is verified
- Exercise flexibility to better match consent with the real risks posed to internet research participants
- Engage in appropriate risk/benefit analyses and balance trade-offs between wanting to identify study risks and understanding what participants want to—and should—know
Who Should Attend?
IRB chairs, members, administrators, and staff who review internet survey research protocols, as well as investigators, benefited from attending this webinar.