Survey research, which includes face-to-face or telephone interviewing, or self-administered questionnaires (as through the mail or via the Internet,) generally has a low cost of participation, that is it usually requires only a small amount of a subjects' time.
Such research may qualify for an exempt review or
may not require written consent, as clarified below.
- Survey research may be considered in an exempt review if the survey is anonymous or protection of the confidentiality of research subjects is adequately demonstrated, and if all other applicable criteria for exempt review are fulfilled (e.g., research must not involve vulnerable populations or put subjects at more than minimal risk.)
- In order to qualify for a waiver of written consent, question E4 on the IRB application should be answered fully and the survey instrument/procedure should:
- Inform subjects of all applicable elements of consent prior to responding to the survey; and
- meet all other criteria for an exempt review.
You and the college may incur legal liability if the treatment of survey recipients is unethical, if data resulting from your survey are misused, or if any part of the survey violates certain protected rights of individuals. Survey researchers should be aware of their responsibilities and make every effort to protect the rights of survey recipients.
Students and faculty who wish to use surveys to conduct academic research should contact the IRB.
College Administrators/Staff should first contact the Kenyon Institutional Research office. IRB approval is required if the findings from the survey are to be used for any purposes other than data collection about campus programs, practices, curricula, or outcomes for use solely by the college. The Director of Institutional research will advise you on survey policies and procedures.
From the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) - Best Practices Web Site http://www.aapor.org/Best_Practices.htm "How to produce a Quality Survey."
For additional help with developing a survey go to:
Kenyon Institutional Research, Erika Farfan, Director of Institutional Research