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Human Subjects Division (HSD)


Approaching and Recruiting Prospective Subjects - Web-Based

Web-based tools used to recruit subjects for research

Approach to prospective subjects, and recruitment of subjects, are governed by the same considerations, no matter what the medium.

Approach and recruitment are early phases of the informed consent process. As a result, all approach and recruitment materials and procedures must receive the appropriate level of human subjects review or approval.

To be approvable, a web site intended to be used in approaching prospective subjects, or recruiting subjects, must meet all relevant requirements. The material must be written in clear, direct lay terms, at a level likely to be readily understood by prospective subjects, and must be clearly presented as approach and recruitment material. To refer prospective subjects to a highly technical, academically oriented web site is like mailing prospective subjects reprints of professional publications. Except in specific (and unusual) cases, it is unlikely to be an effective form of communication.

In other words, if you wish to use web-based recruitment material, or provide web-based information for prospective subjects, you should publish it on a separate, study-specific site (rather than merged with an academic site). The material on the site must fit all the usual requirements for approach and recruitment material. Such sites may not be published until they have received appropriate Human Subjects review and approval.

Use of materials or procedures that have not received the appropriate level of review and approval is either a protocol violation (when done in connection with an otherwise approved application) or non-compliance with University of Washington human subjects requirements (when done without any approved application).

Change Notes

  • Noted 12/20/2010 @ 12:26pm
    Keyword newly added.
    - sherrye