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Informed Consent

Before collecting data from your participants, informed consent (IC) is required. The term ‘informed consent’ refers to a participant receiving an information letter that contains all relevant information about your study based upon which they can consider their participation. To confirm that they have been duly informed and agree to the presented terms, they sign a declaration of consent. Guidelines for setting up an informed consent form can be found on the FERB website.

FERB Guidelines
The FERB accepts several methods of gathering informed consent:

  • Pen and paper: Set up an information letter and consent form and print a copy of both for each participant. The participant reads the letter and signs the consent form by hand. This form is then stored by the researcher.
  • Digital consent: Set up an online page which includes the information letter, informed consent letter and a way to digitally accept the conditions (i.e. by ticking a box on the page). Researchers can build these forms themselves. However, pre-built templates in Qualtrics are also available (see below).
  • Recorded consent: Storing an audio recording of someone reading the information letter and informed consent letter to the participant and them giving verbal consent.

Storage of pen and paper consent forms

    According to FERB policy informed consent forms can be digitalised and stored digitally on the faculty server (FSS storage/YoDa). This has to be done in line with the regulations for Archively Valuable guidelines (pdf-A format). After digitalising and storing the consent form the original paper version may be destroyed. If you have any questions or require specific instructions, please contact the secretary of the FERB (fetc-fsw@uu.nl).

    Digital Informed Consent
    One method to acquire consent digitally is via a short questionnaire. To facilitate this, we have created a template IC form in Qualtrics. This template is based on the guidelines provided by the Faculty Ethics Review Board (FERB) and outlines all relevant information that is legally required to be presented to the subject before participation. You can edit the text in the template. add information specific to your study (indicated with []) and delete any information that is not relevant to your study.

    The forms can be digitally signed by the participants by filling in their name, the date and agreeing to the presented terms by selecting ‘I agree’. After agreeing they can forwarded to your study either via instructions or via a link to the online task or questionnaire (i.e. Qualtrics, Gorilla, Inquisit, etc.). Note that there will be no direct link between the Informed Consents and the collected data, as advised by the FERB.

IC Qualtrics packages

Package #1: Informed Consent
This package includes a Qualtrics template and short instructions on how to setup your IC questionnaire. In addition, there are some short instructions on how to provide participants with a link to another questionnaire, online task or Teams meeting after providing consent.

Please download this package here: IC Qualtrics Package #1.

Package #2: Informed Consent and Financial Accountability
This package includes a Qualtrics template and short instructions on how to setup your IC questionnaire. This IC questionnaire contains an additional question to request consent for the collection of data necessary for financial compensation via digital vouchers. It also includes a separate Financial Accountability (FA) questionnaire used to collect the data necessary to request digital vouchers and instructions on how to link both the IC and FA questionnaires to your questionnaire/experiment in Qualtrics or Gorilla.

Please download this/these package(s) here: IC Qualtrics Package #2 and/or IC Gorilla Package #2 – Gorilla.

When using Qualtrics for your data collection, do not use the template to build your data collection questionnaire. Personal information necessary to verify consent should be stored separately from the collected data.

There have been several reports of bot attacks targeting online research. We have implemented changes into our financial accountability packages to prevent bot attacks and have added an additional manual detailing these changes to this package. You can read more about bot attacks, methods to prevent bot attacks and ways to detect bot input in your datasets on our dedicated page.

More information

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