Institutional Review Board

Consent for Anonymous Surveys/Questionnaires

When using an anonymous survey or questionnaire to collect data, you may fulfill the informed consent requirement by providing subjects with a cover page or letter that explains the following items:

  1. Purposes of research and expected duration of the subject's participation
  2. Whom to contact for answers to questions about the research and how to contact them (typically, you as researcher; a student must also include contact information for an advisor)
  3. Where/how overall research results will be made available
  4. Suggested additional resources related to the research topic, if any, that may be of interest to the subject
  5. Anonymity of the results: the subject cannot be identified
  6. Implied consent: "returning the questionnaire indicates your voluntary consent to participate"
  7. Participation is voluntary, refusing to participate or discontinuing participation will involve no penalty or loss of benefits to which the subject is otherwise entitled

Implied Consent documents for anonymous surveys or questionnaires should not include a signature line; consent is implied.