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Lord Happy Toast

Rules for researchers and students

1 post in this topic

In recent months, AVEN has created new policy for people wanting to use the site for research and has carved out an exception for some cases of students collecting data for class papers. A big question, of course, is how all of this is implemented. For those who are curious, below are the researcher rules, the student rules, and the implementation rules. As we carry out this process and learn more about things, these will, no doubt, be updated in the future.

Rules for using AVEN for research.

The asexual community is very interested in promoting research on asexuality, and we want to do what we can to help researchers in their work. To help ensure the well-being of members of AVEN and to promote communication with members of the asexual community throughout the research project, we ask researchers to follow a few rules:

For researchers wanting to recruit participants from AVEN:

1) All calls for participants must be reviewed prior to approval by AVEN before being posted. Researchers may post these themselves, or they may request either a member of the PT, or Admod teams on AVEN to post it on their behalf. Such posts should be new threads and, in general, should be posted in the Announcements forum. Please send requests for research calls to research@asexuality.org.

The following will be required for review: a basic description of the study, and, if your university requires you to have one, the consent form. If you do not have a consent form, please state how you will ensure the protection of participants, and details on how you will communicate this information to them. If it is a survey-based study, please send copies of all surveys that will be used. If it is an interview based study, sending all interview questions may not be feasible, so in such cases, please send a basic description of the questions that will be asked.

We also ask that everyone researching asexuality to please read Asexual Awareness Week 2011's Open Letter to Researchers.

2) Studies involving any of the following categories listed below must be approved by admod and project teams through formal vote. If your study falls into one of the listed categories, we will require further details on why you regard the below as being necessary, and how you will ensure the safety and confidentiality of the research participants.

The categories are:

A) Studies that require collecting legal names.
B) Studies involving individuals who have not reached the age of majority, as defined by the jurisdiction in which the researcher(s) live, and has questions where it is likely that some participants may give out personally identifying information.
C) Studies requiring participants to meet with the researcher in person.

For researchers wanting to use existing data on the AVEN forums:
(Note: These only concern posts on the forums. These do not apply to Asexual Perspectives, information on AVEN's main page, AVEN's FAQ's, the AVENwiki, or AVENues.)

1)You are encouraged to email research@asexuality.org to inform us about your research. This will allow us to direct you to any resources that may be helpful to your research, or to put you in contact with people with similar interests.

2) If you quote any post on the AVEN forums, prior permission must be obtained from the poster. This can generally be done by PMing the individual in question. Note: Sending private messages requires you having made an account on AVEN.

Should you not receive a response from the member, or the member is no longer active on the forum, you do not have permission to quote the members posts, and any request to quote from the same member is automatically denied.

In addition to the above, researchers are encouraged to take a look at Asexual Explorations and the AVENwiki, and are encouraged to join the Asexual Studies Mailing List.

Links for researchers:

We strongly advise any researcher making a request also read the following:

http://www.asexualexplorations.net/home/

http://asexuality.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A0=ASEXUALITYSTUDIES


For students collecting data for a class paper:

1) For students wanting to collect data for a class paper, you do not need to send a formal request to research@asexuality.org if

a) the data will only be used for a class paper,
b) the research only involves a short survey (10 questions at most), and
c) none of questions would be likely to result in anyone giving personally identifiable information.

2) If your class research project fits a, b, and c above, then you do not need to email research@asexuality.org. However, we do request that you do the following:

a) To ensure that the data is collected anonymously, even with respect to AVEN names, we request that the survey be posted off-site on one of the survey-hosting websites that exist on the internet.
b) Before posting the survey, please PM one or more of the members of the Project Team, introducing yourself to them and providing a link to the survey. Please do not post the survey until you have received permission to do so.

3) If your class research project involves interviews, if you would like to use the data for something beyond just the class paper, or if your survey does not meet (1a)-(1c) above, then you need to follow the procedures given in “For researchers wanting to recruit participants from AVEN.”

4) The rules given in “For researchers wanting to use existing data on the AVEN forums” apply to class papers, even in cases where recruitment rules do not apply.



Implementation for researchers wanting to recruit from AVEN.

Researchers should email research@asexuality.org with a request to recruit participants from AVEN. Accompanied with this should be a consent form (if one exists) and, to the extent that it is possible, copies of whatever questions that will be used in a survey.

When a request is made

If a request is made but is not emailed to research@asexuality.org, this likely means that the person has not read the public requirements. In such a case, whoever receives the request should respond by directing the requestee to the publicly posted rules.

If a request is sent to research@asexuality.org, it will be forwarded to [the PT google group], and a member of the PT will create a new thread in the PT forum, stating that a request has been made. If not all of the required materials are included, a member of the PT will inform the researcher of this and state in the PT thread that they have done so. In such a case, no further action needs to be taken until this request is complied with. Which member of the PT will be primarily responsible for communicating with the researcher(s) in any given case is a matter to be determined by the PT.

If a request is made and all required materials are included, one of two things will happen depending on whether the request falls into one of the categories requiring heightened scrutiny or not. (These categories are listed in the public rules.)

a) PT review:

If the call for participants does not fall into a heightened scrutiny category, a poll is made in the PT forum. This poll will have four options: Approve; Revise and Resubmit; Send To Admods; and Abstain. By default, polls will last for 48 hours. If any member of the PT feels that more time is needed for discussion, they can say so in the thread and the duration of the poll will be extended to 96 hours from the start of the poll. If any option has a majority of potential votes before the time set for the poll to close, any member of the PT may declare the poll closed and that the option with the majority of votes wins.

Approve: This is to be the default option. If the decision is to approve the study, a member of the PT will inform the researcher(s), of the decision, along with information relevant to posting the study.

Revise and Resubmit: If the PT are generally OK with the study, but have certain concerns and reservations, Revise and Resubmit can be opted for. Comments and specific recommendations for alterations are to be made within the voting thread. If this option has the majority of votes, then a member of the PT is to draft a letter to the researcher(s),informing them of the alterations that are required. If the study is resubmitted, the modified version of the study will again be voted on by the PT.

Send to Admods: This is for cases where some aspect of the study makes PT members rather uncomfortable, or otherwise hesitant to approve the study. Such concerns—if any—should be addressed in the thread.

Abstain: The person's vote does not count towards the number that "majority" is more than 50% of.


Voting: If, at the end of the voting period, any option has the majority of votes (excluding Abstain votes), that is regarded as the winner. If there is no majority but Approve and Revise and Resubmit combined have a majority, a runoff poll lasting two days is held with Approve, Revise and Resubmit, and Abstain as the options; if the runoff poll ends in a tie, Revise and Resubmit wins. In a main poll, if there is no majority and Revise and Resubmit and Approve do not have a combined majority, the study is sent to admods.
b) Heightened Scrutiny:

If a study is designated as requiring heightened scrutiny, one or more members of the PT need to contact the researcher(s) to set up a time to discuss with them the concerns that cause it to require heightened scrutiny. In some instances, it may be necessary to contact other people at the individual’s university as well. Once the PT member(s) has/have had a chance to talk to the researcher(s), the PT member(s) who talked with the researcher(s) will write a summary of their discussion, along with a recommendation to approve; to approve pending revisions; or disapprove. If the PT member has concerns, these should be made as additional comments within the summary.

Directions for admods:

When a study is under consideration, mention of it should be made in the pinned thread about research requests [it may later be modified to include media requests]. If it is necessary for admods to vote on it, a separate thread for that study will be made. In this thread, the report from the PT member, along with the materials sent in the research request, will be posted in the Admods Only forum. This thread will have a poll that both admods and PT may vote in, and it will have four options: Approve; Revise and Resubmit; Reject; and Abstain. At the end of the voting time period, the majority position wins, and a member of the PT will inform the researcher accordingly. In the case of Revise and Resubmit, specific recommendations must be made. The option “Reject” should be used very sparingly.

If you find a research participant request in a forum that you moderate, please check the research thread in admods. If it has been approved, please make a comment in the thread that the study has been approved (unless another admod/PT has already done so.) If there is no mention of it being approved, check the PT forum and admod forums to see if there are any recent threads about it. If not, PM the OP directly, referring them to the research rules thread, and the correct procedure for such requests, and delete the thread. Please indicate that you have done this in the pinned research thread in admods.

The default for participant requests is that they are to be posted in Announcements. If you find such a request in a forum (other than Announcements) that you moderate, and do not have any indication that it should be posted in your forum, please mention this in the research thread, especially to ask if it should be moved.

Explanation of the voting options:

Approve: If the decision is to approve the study, a member of the PT will inform the researcher(s), of the decision, along with information relevant to posting the study. The researcher(s) will then either have the option of posting it themselves, or requesting either a member of the admod, or PT teams to post it on their behalf.

Revise and Resubmit: If admods are generally OK with the study, but have certain concerns and reservations, Revise and Resubmit can be opted for. Comments and specific recommendations for alterations are to be made within the voting thread. If this option has the majority of votes, the Project Team will then confer with each other, taking the recommendations of admods into account, to determine what changes will be requested, and to draft a letter to the researcher(s),informing them of the alterations that are required. If the study is resubmitted, the modified version of the study will again be voted on by the admod team

Reject: This option should rarely be used. When it is used, the researcher should be made aware of the reasons for the rejection.

Abstain: This option should only be used if any of the admod team feels unable to participate in the vote. Again, as with reject, this is an option that should be rarely used, as ideally the entire of the admod and PT teams should participate in the vote.

In the event of no majority at the ending of the voting period, the number of votes in Revise & Resubmit and Reject will be counted together, and considered as “Do not accept as is”. If this total is greater than the Approve vote, a second round of voting will take place, this time with the following voting options: Revise and Resubmit; Reject; and Abstain. If there is still no majority at the end of the second vote, the study will be automatically rejected.

When a/the researcher is in either the admod or PT teams:
If a study is submitted for approval and one of the members of the research team/someone who intends to be the author or a co-author of work using the data is a member of the group/one of the groups voting on the study (i.e. PT for polls in PT, or PT/admods for votes in admods), that individual must vote Abstain. They should limit their discussion in the relevant thread to answering questions that other individuals have and should not argue for any particular voting result.

Edited by timewarp
Fixed broken link for Open Letter to Researchers
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