Posted by Dr. Bob on April 8, 2000, at 15:34:24
In reply to Re: Group Research, posted by Noa on April 8, 2000, at 14:02:41
> Interestingly, even though we have the safety of anonymity, and the group boundaries are very open, with no guarantee of consistent membership, and are not constrained by time and space considerations, it seems to me, as a participant, that a lot of the dynamics here are very similar or analogous to what happens in flesh-and-blood groups.
> I have a question about informed consent. Do you need to obtain it in this context?
Hmm, interesting question. I think the bottom line is that it would be up to the particular "institutional review board" (human subjects committee). Ours has guidelines, but I don't have them right here, but I'll try to remember to check. My guess is that consents probably wouldn't be necessary because the posts are public. Like if you wanted to study letters to Dear Abby, you probably wouldn't need consents.
One discussion of these issues, at:
focuses more on how results are reported than on whether consents are necessary.
> When you poll us, as you are doing now, does our okaying research only apply to ourselves, and not to those who don't agree (ie, you would not use their posts in the research)?
Right now, I just wanted to raise this possibility and see where people generally stood. This wouldn't constitute informed consent, since you're not being informed of benefits, risks, etc.
> It would be nice, though, if you could somehow share findings with us directly, rather than our having to go hunt down some journal article somewhere.
Yes, of course, that wasn't how I should've responded before, sorry.