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Information about Web-based Studies

In the case of web-based studies, informed consent can be "documented" by requiring participants to click on a link or image that (1) indicates acceptance of the consent form, and (2) advances participants to an online study web page that is otherwise inaccesible to visitors.

The consent form should also clearly identify the institutional review board that approved the study (e.g., the Kent State University Institutional Review Board), state the name and email address of the principal investigator (or faculty supervisor if the study is a student project), and include information on who participants can contact if they wish to bring a complaint or get further information (e.g., the phone number of the KSU Institutional Review Board 330.672.2704).

In addition, studies should not exceed minimal risk (i.e., the level of risk found in daily life) or involve deception, and consent forms should inform participants that responses transmitted over the World Wide Web may not be secure (unless the study is using a secure server with https rather than http). In all cases, informed consent should be obtained before prospective participants are asked to download any software or otherwise continue with the study.

To open form that can be used as a template for web-based studies, see Sample Web-based Study Consent Form.

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