- Security of the data is extremely important when online surveys are used. The IRB therefore recommends that researchers use the encrypted version of commercial software (e.g. Survey Monkey). This version, sometimes referred to as a professional version, protects the confidentiality of the transaction. There is usually a fee for the encrypted version.
- If you are using Survey Monkey (or other commercial software), please add the following language to the consent form:
“We are making every effort to ensure that no one knows what your responses were on the survey. Survey Monkey (or other commercial software) is a well known company that collects data for online survey research. The researchers have purchased an encrypted version of their product to reduce the risk to subjects that their responses will be viewed by unauthorized persons. However, the study is not being run from a secure http server such as those used to handle credit card transactions, so there is a small possibility that responses could be viewed by unauthorized third parties, such as computer hackers.”
- Please include the online version of the survey with your application. The IRB requests the online version to ensure the following:
a. The survey includes the necessary language. Most commercial software vendors (e.g. Survey Monkey) will allow you to create surveys for free.
b. Participants should have the option to skip questions. The IRB must ensure that the survey is designed so that participants are not forced to answer one question before going to the next.
Other Pertinent Information
After the study has been approved, please add as a footer or header the following information:
- "Hunter College (CUNY) Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) Office Approved From: (add approval date) To: (add expiration date)." This information can be found on the approval letter.
- Protocol #(add protocol number). This information can be found on the approval letter.