[Air-L] IRB and social media

Shelia Cotten cotten at uab.edu
Mon Sep 26 06:57:17 PDT 2011

Hi everyone. For my grad Survey Research course this semester, I'm planning to have my students do a web-based survey to be disseminated via social media. My IRB is giving us major issues with this. We had planned to use our social networks to disseminate the survey (in part this is a methodological experiment too) - so post on our Facebook walls, email people, post on listservs, and tweet it.

Our IRB doesn't want us to do anything other than email people basically. This seems so archaic given the proliferation of social media. If we are to use listservs, we have to get permission from each one and provide a letter to the IRB from each one.

Thoughts, suggestions, etc. for helping us deal with this issue?

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide! If you want to email me directly at cotten at uab.edu, I will be glad to post a summary of the responses.


Shelia R. Cotten, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
cotten at uab.edu

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