Information Letter and Consent Form for Survey
Exploring Socio-Emotional Motivations, Information Sharing, and Community Coherence in Academia StackExchange
|Dr. Adam Worrall||Rachel Osolen||Alicia Cappello|
|Assistant Professor||Graduate Student||Graduate Student|
|3–15 Rutherford South||3–20 Rutherford South||3–20 Rutherford South|
|University of Alberta||University of Alberta||University of Alberta|
|Edmonton, AB T6G 2J4||Edmonton, AB T6G 2J4||Edmonton, AB T6G 2J4|
|(780) 492–0179||(780) 492–4578||(780) 492–4578|
You are invited to take a survey as part of a research study of the social and emotional reasons and motivations that lead users to ask and answer questions and otherwise participate, interact, and share information on Academia StackExchange (academia.stackexchange.com). You were selected as a possible participant because you are a user of or visitor to the Academia StackExchange site. We ask you to read this form carefully and ask any questions you may have before agreeing to participate in a survey as part of the study.
This study is partially funded by the University of Alberta Faculty of Education under a Support for the Advancement of Scholarship Grant awarded to the principal investigator, Dr. Adam Worrall, a faculty member in the University of Alberta School of Library and Information Studies. This study is being conducted by Dr. Worrall with the research assistance of Rachel Osolen and Alicia Cappello, graduate students in the School. This study is being conducted independently of but with the consent of StackExchange.
The purpose of this study is to look at the social and emotional motivations that lead users to ask and answer questions and share information on social questioning-and-answering (Q&A) sites, such as Academia StackExchange. We are also interested in how these motivational factors may contribute to the coming together (or cohering) of communities around partly shared norms, values, and behaviours as users ask and answer questions and share information. Your responses to our survey questions will help us see if and how these factors, norms, values, and behaviours interact in your use of the site. The study and your participation should improve our collective understanding of users’ social and emotional motivations and the roles that social Q&A sites do, can, and should serve for users like yourself, as well as of users’ information sharing online.
If you agree to be in this study, you will complete a survey questionnaire that will ask about your experience with and use of Academia StackExchange as an individual and your interactions with communities. The survey will focus on your social and emotional motivations for using the site and sharing information on it, along with the norms, values, and behaviours you engage in and find others engaging in. The survey will take place online, and we estimate the survey will take you about 10–20 minutes to complete.
By participating in this study you may benefit indirectly, as a user of a social Q&A site and online community, from improved design and usability of such sites and from improvements in the offering of social and emotional support online. You may benefit directly from reflecting on your experience with and use of Academia StackExchange through the survey. We hope that the information obtained from doing this study will help us collectively improve our understanding of users’ social and emotional motivations and the roles that social Q&A sites do, can, and should serve for users like yourself, as well as of users’ information sharing online.
All participants who complete the survey may elect to be entered into a draw for a total of 20 Amazon gift cards. If your name is drawn you will receive your choice of an Amazon.ca gift card worth $10 Canadian, or an Amazon.com gift card worth the equivalent amount in US dollars. The approximate odds of winning one of these gift cards is 13.3%. We may also follow up with you to request your participation in a follow-up interview, for which you will be under no obligation.
Taking part in this survey and study has minimal risks to you as a participant, believed to be no more than the risks you experience in everyday life as a visitor and poster to Academia StackExchange.
The records of this study will be kept private and confidential to the extent permitted by law. We intend to publish and present the results of this study in the form of journal articles, conference presentations, and research colloquia. In any sort of publication or presentation, we will not include any information making it possible to identify you or other participants. Research records, including records of your responses to questions and your identity, will be stored securely and encrypted. Only the researchers, Adam Worrall, Rachel Osolen, and Alicia Cappello, and the University of Alberta Research Ethics Committee will have access to these records. We may use the data we get from this study in future research, but if we do this it will have to be approved by a Research Ethics Board. All research records, including backups, will be wiped, deleted, or shredded five years after completion of the study, anticipated to be no later than December 31, 2022.
You may request to be sent a copy of a report of the completed research findings at the end of the survey or at any time via email to the lead researcher.
Participation in this study is voluntary, and you are under no obligation to do so. Your decision to participate or not will not affect your current or future relations with the University of Alberta, StackExchange or any sub-site thereof, or any other site, institution, or organization. You are free to choose to not answer any specific question asked in the survey even if you choose to participate.
Freedom to Withdraw:
Even if you choose to participate in this study, you can change your mind and are free to withdraw from the study at any time, without affecting any current or future relationships. If you withdraw, all data we have collected from you will be wiped, deleted, or shredded as of the date of withdrawal. Data may have been used in publications or presentations prior to your withdrawal, if your withdrawal is later than April 16, 2017. If you withdraw after that date, your responses to the survey and other data will not be used further in the study or in future publications and presentations.
Additional Contacts and Information:
If you have questions about this study, you may ask them of the lead researcher via email at email@example.com or via phone at (780) 492–0179. You may also ask questions you have later via email.
If you have concerns about this study and would like to talk to someone other than the researchers, you may contact the University of Alberta Research Ethics Office, at (780) 492–2615. This office has no direct involvement with this project.
The plan for this study has been reviewed for its adherence to ethical guidelines by a Research Ethics Board at the University of Alberta. For questions regarding participant rights and ethical conduct of research, contact the Research Ethics Office at (780) 492–2615.
We encourage you to print a copy of this information to keep for your records, or you may always access it at http://www.adamworrall.org/research/sharing-stackexchange/survey-consent.html.
Statement of Consent:
I have read the above information. I have asked questions and have received answers. By clicking the “Next” button below, I confirm that I am at least 18 years old and consent to participate in the study and begin the survey.
Version: February 23, 2017