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Modification of Informed Consent--Anonymous Surveys (Distributed/Mailed), Telephone Interviews

Anonymous surveys that are distributed or mailed to participants, and telephone surveys/interviews in which no names are recorded, generally do not require signed informed consent. If surveys are filled out in laboratory or other group settings, however, researchers should obtain signed informed consent.

For an anonymous survey that is distributed or mailed to participants, to be returned or mailed back at a later time, researchers must provide participants with a written statement that contains the following:

  1. a statement that identifies the survey as research, the topic of the research, the duration of participation

  2. a statement that participation is voluntary, and may be discontinued at any time without penalty

  3. a statement about the degree to which participant confidentiality and/or anonymity will be maintained

  4. contact information (names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses) for researchers (including faculty sponsor), and a statement that participants may contact them with questions or concerns

  5. a statement about how and when participants may contact researchers to be more fully informed about the nature of the research and the results of the study

  6. a statement that indicates to participants that by returning the survey they are giving the researchers permission for their data to be used in the research

  7. a statement that the study has been approved by the DePauw IRB

In telephone surveys/interviews (in which no names or other identifying information is recorded), researchers must read a statement that contains all of the elements listed just above.