Research & Economic Development

IRB Online Research/Social Media Policy

Any online source that requires the PI to login (i.e., use a unique screen name and password) is considered private space; therefore, informed consent must be obtained by any participants in the study. In this environment, participation consists of all forms of electronically mediated communication via online media. Online media include, but are not limited to, posts, tweets, text messages, tags, likes, instant messages, interaction via avatars, and/or voice communication.

The PI is responsible for finding, reviewing, and abiding by the policies of the platform on or medium within which data are being collected. 

For clarity, web-based surveys are facilitated by online survey programs that require researchers (not participants) to have individual password-protected accounts. Web-based surveys require username and password to access the instrument used for collecting data; the username and password does not provide direct access to participants. Examples of web-based survey programs are Qualtrics, Survey Monkey, or Google Forms


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