95

I have previously seen this done in the following simple way: Female Male Other (fill in blank) ________ Decline to Answer This makes the common case (Male/Female) easy to code, allows unbounded expression for people who don't fall into that category, and also allows people to opt out of providing the information. Your IRB, of course, will need to review ...


48

One option is not to have checkboxes at all. Just give people a single free-text field, let them write whatever describes their gender best, and then use manual or automated methods to code those responses into categories. Optionally include a prompt along the lines of "e.g. male, female, genderqueer" to clarify that non-binary answers are welcome. ...


32

The honest, if slightly cop-out answer, is that it depends on what you need the data for. I'll break it down further: Section One: Gender Let's say you're doing a sociological study in which you're looking for gendered trends. You have a few options here, which I'll outline some of the pros and cons of: Option One: Free Text What is your gender? [Free ...


29

A relevant guideline from the Council of American Survey Research Organizations' Code of Standards and Ethics for Survey Research: Research Organizations are required to verify that individuals contacted for research by email have a reasonable expectation that they will receive email contact for research. Such agreement can be assumed when ALL of the ...


15

I'm surprised to not see a format that I've been seeing with regularity over the last few years (UK Academia): How do you describe your gender: Male Female Other ______ Prefer not to say Is your gender the same as that assigned at birth: Yes No Prefer not to say It's totally unambiguous and you get definitive information but it gives respondents total ...


14

The question of what sort of ethical approval is required is a complicated one, depending on the local laws, funding sources, university policies, and journal policies. I don't think anyone can give a definitive answer without knowing these details. For example, see these charts for an indication of the rules imposed by the U.S. Department of Health and ...


11

Being curious about this question, I asked GitHub about such uses. Here was their response: Thanks for reaching out! We always encourage users who have questions about our Terms to contact GitHub Support directly, so we can learn more about their specific situation. In the meantime, I'll be happy to point you to GitHub's Terms of Service and address ...


11

I know I've read something in a research textbook about unexpected ethics problems, but I don't remember where or what it said. I think you need to contact your ethics committee (or equivalent), preferably quickly, for guidance. If there were enough questions about welfare on the questionnaire to be likely to bring up some sort of similar response, you ...


11

I know in today's climate this isn't a particularly popular approach but depending on the context of the study it may be most appropriate to ask about biological sex (aka whether or not they are in possession of a Y chromosome) rather than gender. This way it is unambiguous, you either have a Y chromosome or you don't. In biological/clinical studies this ...


10

The answer to the question "do we need ethical approval for X study" is ALWAYS yes. The format is irrelevant. Your institution's ethics review committee will have a category for "minimal or no participant risk" which will often have fewer detailed requirements for submission in instances such as the one you describe. Nevertheless, the issue is about /...


9

If you are in the US you should (must) ask this question of your IRB. The answer may depend on the overall nature of your study, not just this one question. They will probably want to know how you intend to use this information (and everything else). Rather than Male, Female, blank. It might be Male, Female, Decline to Answer. Even that will, however, ...


7

Your work should have been approved (including being classified as exempt) by an institutional review board (IRB). You say no IRB/ERB at the institution I worked for when the study was executed. It is actually quite rare to find one in small and/or technical universities. This is actually not a valid excuse. You should have gone to an outside IRB if your ...


7

Perhaps, it's somewhat dependent on the field, but, AFAIK, in social sciences this situation is very typical. Nobody places questions in quotes, of course, however, a set of questions (questionnaire), which is usually referred to as an instrument, is cited. Such an approach is usually applied, when researchers use some reasonably well-known or validated ...


7

Many journals have policies that require authors to have obtained IRB approval (or its equivalent in countries other than the US) as a condition of publication for any paper that involves human subjects. Here, the consequence of not obtaining IRB approval would be that your paper isn't published. If you are employed by an institution that has a policy on ...


6

From what you've described, you haven't done much, if anything, to provide a compelling argument for companies to participate in your research. Even though it doesn't, from your point of view, take much time or effort, it does take time and effort, both of which cost money. If you're talking to a company that has 300 employees. You say it takes 10 minutes. ...


6

If you're using forums, don't just make a thread and then write: Class project, please fill out this survey. Link: www.xxxxxx984asdfac. Thx!! Most of the time these annoying threads can trigger shutting down or be simply ignored as spam. I'd recommend picking a few major forums and actually start a communication with the administrators. In no more than ...


6

I've had this conversation with various researchers in the crowd-work community, and it is actually a bit of ongoing controversy. Right now crowd-work can be terrible for many workers - way below minimum wage, many tasks are a waste of time and just broken (cannot be completed), tasks take way longer than the poster estimates and ends up wasting workers time,...


5

Your friend can seek retroactive permission from the participants. They can email all of the participants to ask them for permission to disclose their contact details with the friend's advisor for the purpose of validating the survey. They should probably also ask them to complete a consent form of some kind, the details of which your friend should discuss ...


4

I don't think that survey URL's domain plays a significant role in trustworthiness of a doctoral survey request. What is far more important IMHO are the contents and writing style of the invitation letter as well as having solid professional or academic online profiles (as most likely most people will be looking you up anyway). In regard to the software ...


4

I would go with Qualtrics, for the reasons you cite. However, make sure that when you pull the data out you export the questions all the possible ways, especially the .qsf version. Otherwise, when you leave the institution, you'll have lost the survey (because you can't log in to get it). This is especially important if you, or anyone else, wants to use ...


4

In terms of the software solution, as one option I would suggest playing with the AutoMultipleChoice software package if you have access to a Linux computer. The software can certainly output a CSV file with each response recorded for you to do your own data analysis (i.e. you can completely ignore the "grading" part of the software and just use it to ...


4

I can offer some help with scanning paper questionnaires as this is something I've done in a previous job. But, first, I would suggest it's quite involved so you may want to at least revisit improving your 'digital' response rate first. Audience response devices One option may be to allow the students to use 'clickers' to respond to questions. I would ...


4

It does rather depend on whether you are interested in gender or sex. As has been pointed out, neither is easy, but can be relevant. The best wording I've seen for the gender question is "What, if any, do you consider your gender to be?". You might get some silly answers to this, but as has been pointed out, if someone answers "Attack helicopter", this is ...


4

This is really an experimental design question. The first question you probably want to answer is are you interested in sex (i.e., the biological construct) or gender (i.e., the social construct). The second question is how are you going to analyze the data. Unless your are actively recruiting individuals with particular genders, the odds of a random ...


3

Is it okay to do a survey with software not provided by my institution? This in itself should be OK. But if you put you survey somewhere online on your own make sure you carefully read the terms of use of that service and think hsard what rights to the survey data you're signing over to the form provider. And double-check that this is OK with all the data ...


3

Mandatory is a difficult concept. I think it is ethically questionable to not allow a participant to withdraw from a study at any time. There may be edge cases, for example drug studies, where further follow up treatment is required, but even here I think that treatment would not be considered part of the study. When a participant withdraws from a study we ...


3

As another idea, the 2017 Nerdfighteria Census used a "check all that apply" strategy: Gender (check all that apply)? ☐ Female ☐ Male ☐ Genderqueer ☐ Agender ☐ Transgender ☐ Gender fluid ☐ Questioning ☐ Non-Binary Other (please specify) ________ (See also the analysis of results for that survey here.)


3

In many places (say, the US), there are laws that govern any sort of research with human subjects. This applies even to questionnaires. These laws differ widely from place to place and it is even possible that asking a question in some other country Y might have issues. In the United States, universities have an IRB (Institutional Review Board) which will ...


2

While this will definitely vary by review board, my personal experience has been that it's a standard that you are explicitly required to inform participants at an appropriate point (disclosures, usually) that they are allowed to refuse to answer any question they want by leaving it blank or marking it in some fashion. Sometimes this even means that, if they ...


2

The IRB that I serve on would never approve of a paid participation survey in which the participants would be denied the compensation if they didn't complete the survey. Furthermore, if someone decides that they don't want to complete their participation in the study it would be unethical to make use of any partial responses that you'd already gotten from ...


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