Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Get a Consent Form (for IRB) on MTurk using Qualification Tests

I was browsing through the various qualification tests on Mechanical Turk, checking what requesters ask and how they structure the tests. The one test that caught my eye was designed by Daniel Velleman and David Beaver from the Linguistics department of The University of Texas at Austin.

Here is the test:

"Which sentence do you prefer?" eligibility form

This qualification will allow you to participate in our English language research HIT, "Which sentence do you prefer?"

Is English your first language?



Do you (or did you) have at least one parent or caregiver
whose first language was English?



Please read this information

You are invited to participate in a survey, entitled "Which sentence do you prefer?" The study is being conducted by Daniel Velleman and David Beaver in the Linguistics department of The University of Texas at Austin.

Calhoun 501
1 University Station B5100
Austin, TX 78712-0198
(512) 471-1701

The purpose of this study is to examine English speakers' preferences about the order in which written information is presented. Your participation in the survey will contribute to a better understanding of the English language. We estimate that it will take about a minute of your time to complete each question. You are free to contact the investigator at the above address and phone number to discuss the survey.

Risks to participants are considered minimal. There will be no costs for participating. You will be paid for each HIT you complete, but will not otherwise benefit from participating. Your Amazon account information will be kept while we collect data for tracking purposes only. A limited number of research team members will have access to the data during data collection. This information will be stripped from the final dataset.

Your participation in this survey is voluntary. You may decline to answer any question and you have the right to withdraw from participation at any time without penalty. If you wish to withdraw from the study or have any questions, contact the investigator listed above.

If you have any questions, please email Daniel Velleman at ut.linguistics.mturk@gmail.com. You may also request a hard copy of the survey from the contact information above.

This study has been reviewed and approved by The University of Texas at Austin Institutional Review Board. If you have questions about your rights as a study participant, or are dissatisfied at any time with any aspect of this study, you may contact - anonymously, if you wish - the Institutional Review Board by phone at (512) 471-8871 or email at orsc@uts.cc.utexas.edu.

IRB Approval Number: 2009-03-0123

I understand want to participate in this study.

It is indeed a very clever idea to leverage a qualification test, to get workers to fill-in a consent form, and satisfy at the same time the requirement of the Institutional Review Board.

Perhaps the trick will be useful to other researchers that want to run human studies on Mechanical Turk. (I still believe that for this study an IRB is not required, but this is not the point of this post.)