Researcher/Study  Guidelines

Researchers should please take note of the following basic study requirements for using the StudyResponse panel.

  1. You must have IRB approval from a federally approved research institution (e.g., a university in good standing with DHHS) for your self-report, anonymous research project. You must fax (315-443-6886) us a signed and dated copy of your IRB approval letter. The date on your IRB approval must be within the past 12 months. If your original IRB approval did not include web based recruitment and data collection you must file and receive approval for an amendment to this effect before using StudyResponse. We have developed a template recruiting message that you may wish to modify and include in your IRB application or amendment.

  2. Your study must be anonymous and confidential and must not request reports of highly sensitive information (e.g., reports of illegal behavior). Your web-based research data collection may not request any personal identifying information. We very strongly recommend that your data collection not record the IP addresses of respondents, or that you immediately discard them from your data. We also very strongly discourage the placement of cookies on client machines. We will test and/or request your assurances on these issues, and if you insist upon collecting these data you will need to provide a signed letter from your IRB granting approval for these procedures. Prior to distributing the invitation for your study, you will need to send us a zip file containing all of your data collection pages and associated server code (e.g., ASP files, if any server is used for collecting identifiable information about participants).

  3. You must provide a licensing fee to the StudyResponse project for use in providing participant incentives and for supporting administration of the project. We can receive grant monies that have been set aside for participant stipends and related costs. All disbursements, either from your university or from you personally, are to Syracuse University, which is a 501(c3) non-profit educational organization. Under the terms of our licensing agreement the StudyResponse project delivers a proportion of your licensing fee to respondents in the form of random-draw incentives. It is possible to supplement this proportion by designating additional funds for use as incentives. We must receive your licensing fee at Syracuse University in advance of recruitment for your study. The Researcher Registration process calculates your fee based on draw size and other parameters and also provides an invoice for your use in obtaining payment or reimbursement at your institution. The proportion of your licensing fee set aside for administration of the project ensures our ability to maintain a high quality panel through the management of panelist inquiries as well as the deletion of non-responsive email addresses. StudyResponse is not grant funded and the staff runs the project as an academic service center.

  4. Your data collection procedures must provide a method by which respondents can leave one or more response fields blank/missing.  Web-forms that require all fields to be completed prior to submission are contrary to the ethical standards governing participants' rights to opt-out or withdraw without penalty. Further, federal and state sweepstakes laws have sometimes been interpreted in a way suggesting that one cannot legally offer a random-draw incentive unless there is a minimal-barrier method of entering. The only exception to this should be the StudyResponse ID field, which may appear as the first field in your survey form and which may be a required field (see item #5 below).

  5. Your web-based form may begin with a field in which respondents can enter their StudyResponse ID. StudyResponse ID numbers range from 2 decimal digits to 6 decimal digits. Your use of the StudyResponse ID is optional, but collecting it will allow you to make better use of the demographic database of respondents that we provide to you following receipt of your license fee. A StudyResponse ID is a randomly generated number between four and six digits long that uniquely identifies each panelist and helps to ensure the anonymity of the response process. You may need to make other modifications to your web-based form as well, depending upon the other samples you have collected or plan to collect. For example, many researchers pilot test their forms on student populations, and thus have demographic questions asking about major, class standing, etc. StudyResponse panelists are primarily employed U.S. adults, and thus may find such questions confusing or vexing.

  6. At the conclusion of your study, we would be pleased to receive a brief description or abstract (in MS-Word or PDF format) about your methods, procedure, response rate, and so forth, as a benefit to future researchers who use StudyResponse. We also ask that as a courtesy, you also keep us informed of any publications (journals, chapters, books, proceedings, etc.) that you achieve that included data collected from a StudyResponse Project sample and that you kindly acknowledge the StudyResponse Project in your manuscripts, through citations, footnotes, and/or author notes.