Ethics

Members and standard research per department

Standard research per department


Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies

General research of the Centre for Higher education policy studies (CHEPS)

Contact: dr. J.J. Vossensteyn
Function: EC contactperson
j.j.vossensteyn@utwente.nl

Explanatory notes about the nature of the research

General

The CHEPS department conducts research into how higher education works and the factors which determine the effectiveness and efficiency of higher education. The research is both fundamental and applied. A variety of research and design methodologies are combined with empirical knowledge to design solutions for specific problems in higher education policy. These policy issues include funding, quality assurance & accreditation, governance, internationalization, accessibility, career paths, modern teaching methods, encouraging research, rankings, etc. and how these are interrelated.

In most cases the research involves conceptual analyses, secondary source research and quantitative or qualitative field research. It is mainly international comparative research in which the macro, meso and micro perspectives are analysed. In other words, how policy instruments at system level (macro) influence the work of higher education institutions (meso) and students and academics (micro).

Generally, the exploratory and/or explanatory research is conducted in organizations related to higher education, such as ministries, universities and universities of applied sciences, associations, quality and funding agencies, boards, faculties, etc. Generally, the research is conducted in close collaboration with the parties involved, respondents and/or experts. No human subjects are used as test-persons. Before taking part in the research, respondents are informed in advance about the objective and the content of the research. In addition, they are required to give passive or active permission. Respondents take part in the research voluntarily and therefore receive no payment. In exceptional cases the prospect of winning a small gift may be offered to make participation more attractive. Respondents are recruited directly through the organizations where they work or study. If desired, the respondents are informed of the results following their participation. In addition, respondents may contact the lead researcher with questions at any time.

The anonymity of respondents (and organizations) is safeguarded unless the respondents expressly request to be named as a contact person, as a case study or as an example of good practice in the report.

National experts and/or subject experts regularly take part in the research. Generally, they are requested to give their analysis of or opinion on specific policy trends and their effectiveness in a way that is deemed academically responsible (stating their sources) or to complete questionnaires. Depending on the amount of work, they may be offered a suitable compensation from the research project budget.

Specific type of standard research: Questionnaire-based research and qualitative research

a.       Respondents individually fill in answers, in writing or electronically, to questions about themselves, their environment or others in their environment (friends, family, partner, fellow students, etc.) or are questioned orally either individually or as part of a group (focus group).

b.       In some cases, an audio recording will be made of the interview or of the respondents’ behaviour. Only the researcher and his/her research team have access to data in which the subjects are identifiable. Without written permission of the respondents concerned sound recordings will not be shared with third parties. Recordings in which subjects are identifiable are carefully managed, and destroyed as soon as the interest of the research permits.

c.       Completion of the survey generally takes between 15 minutes and 30 minutes and no longer than 1 hour. In-depth interviews and focus groups last no longer than 3 hours.

d.       There is no physical discomfort, and there are no health and safety risks.

e.       The questions are neutral in all cases, even when they relate to emotional or sensitive topics for the person or organization.

f.        If required by the research question, it may be necessary to link the information obtained from the questionnaires to other data. If data are linked to other sources (e.g. data from other respondents, administrative details), this is done in close cooperation with the relevant parties and the respondent is informed in advance. Based on this information the respondent may refuse to complete the survey or refuse permission for the data to be linked. The following links are routinely made:

  • Link to administrative details (e.g. general information on students);
  • Link to data obtained from other respondents (e.g. team members, subordinates, supervisors);
  • Link to data obtained earlier from the same respondent (in longitudinal research);
  • A combination of these.

g.       If respondents are identifiable then the following applies: Only the researcher has access to the identifiable data. The personal details are destroyed as soon as this is possible (that is to say, as soon as linking the data is completed).

h.       The researcher operates in accordance with privacy legislation.

Specific type of standard research: Text-analytical research

Documents are analysed with the aim of identifying and/or constructing dominant policy ideas in order to draw conclusions over objectives and possible effects of specific policy initiatives. Generally, public policy documents are analysed without obtaining advance permission from the authors. This applies to products available via mass media and to documents which are openly accessible on the Internet (i.e. not protected by password or other forms of protection). Text-analytical research may also use non-public documents but only to the extent that the researcher has obtained them via proper means (in other words with permission from the author and/or organization). The researcher ensures that these documents are not distributed further and that any content deemed to be confidential in nature is not made public. When quoting from documents consulted, the customary rules of copyright should be observed (source citation, author's permission for reproduction of texts longer than 250 words). 

Centre for Entrepreneurship, Strategy, International Business and Marketing

General research of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Strategy, International Business and Marketing (NIKOS)

Contact: dr. A.M. Von Raesfeld-Meijer
Function: EC contact person
a.m.vonraesfeldmeijer@utwente.nl

Explanatory notes about the nature of the research

Research in this department is focusing on entrepreneurial and innovative behavior of people, teams, and companies (antecedents, consequences, and processes). While we apply a range of research methods, we define three types of standard research procedures. Respondents are usually consenting adults.

Survey-based research: cross-sectional and longitudinal

Respondents individually fill in written or electronic questions about themselves, their businesses, their environment, or others in their environment (e.g. team members). No observation of behavior takes place. Psychometric scales (e.g. Big 5, MBI) can be used. Participation is voluntary and is usually not rewarded. Responding takes no more than one hour.

There is always a cover letter or e-mail in which an explanation is given on the research. This shows at least who performs the investigation, whether this concerns research that is commissioned and who is the client in this case, as far as possible the purpose of the investigation, and what happens to the data obtained, and whether the respondent remains anonymous or not (consent of respondent). If there are questions about emotional or sensitive topics, this is indicated in the accompanying letter in such a way that the respondent in advance can estimate whether he or she this research will contribute to this research. The questions are neutral in all cases (and not judgmental), and are usually based on established scales. The respondent may at all times refuse to complete the questionnaire or parts of the questionnaire, and can withdraw from the study anytime without consequences.

In cross-sectional survey research, confidentiality of respondents is guaranteed, and in no place, the responded discloses information that can lead to his or her identification. In longitudinal research, a link to a particular respondent needs to me made by the researcher alone (which is usually done by attaching a number to each questionnaire which is then matched with subsequent waves, with only the researcher being able to match the questionnaires over waves). Thus, confidentiality remains guaranteed.

Qualitative research

Qualitative research at NIKOS includes in-depth interviews, diaries, and observations. Standard examination satisfies the following properties:

a. Respondents are interviewed individually or in groups orally or observed, following an outline of the study and prior informed consent.

b. In some cases, the interview or the behavior of the respondents will be recorded on audio or video. Only the researcher and his/her research team have access to the raw data, audio and video recordings. Without written permission of the respondents they will not be shared with third parties. Recordings in which subjects are identifiable are carefully managed, and destroyed as soon as the interest of the investigation permits. For research reports and publications, the data is anonymized and will only indicate the respondent’s businesses in case of prior informed consent.

c. There is no physical discomfort, health and safety risks.

d. Topics frequently asked in questionnaires and interviews: behavior, attitudes, opinions, preferences, sociodemographics, and performance indicators.

e. If there are questions about emotional or sensitive topics (such as mental health problems), the investigator must ensure that the question is such that the test person will self or others in the vicinity of the participant not suffer adverse. 

Text-analytical research

Documents are analyzed with the aim to reconstruct different dimension of content. Public documents can be analyzed without the prior consent of the authors. This applies to products of mass media, and documents accessible via the Internet without a password or other form of protection. Non-public documents can be included in text analytical research, but only insofar as they have become in a consensual way available to the researcher. The researcher must ensure that these documents are not spread further and that their content - where confidential - not to be published. When citing documents examined in publications, the usual rules for copyright (citation permission of the person concerned to acquire texts above 250 words).

At times, texts are generated via think-aloud techniques or diary techniques. Here the subject may be asked to 'think aloud' in order to get a better picture of how a task is performed, the considerations put the subject in decisions, misunderstandings or problems in the implementation of the task performance and potential irritation that occur in the execution of the task. During the task, subjects may be queried at different times of the cognitive effort, the motivation and the appreciation of the task. The behavior of the subjects is recorded by means of audio or video recordings, recording keystrokes and mouse movements, notes by the experimenter. After the performance of tasks subjects are asked about their experiences during task performance, their opinion on the materials and other task-oriented aspects used, including a debriefing. Before or after the task in detail questions can be asked about the investigation relevant sociographics and individual characteristics. Registrations will be processed and stored so the reduction to the individual subjects is only possible for the principal investigator and his/her research team, and then only to the extent necessary to verify later information or to obtain additional information. This means, that protocols and recording (video or audio) can be stored confidentially that only the experimenter knows which shot belongs to which participant.

Change Management and Organizational Behaviour

General research of the department of change management and organizational behavior (CMOB)

Contact: prof.dr. C.P.M. Wilderom
Function: EC contactperson
c.p.m.wilderom@utwente.nl 

Explanatory notes about the nature of the research

Research conducted by this department uses both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Qualitative data analysis involves data that is publically available or data which have been collected for a specific research objective. In the latter case the following minimum rules - which also apply to the collection and use of quantitative data - apply:

  1. The research conducted by CMOB only allows healthy individuals to participate in research projects. Our research participants are usually individuals who work for one or several national or international organizations, and also graduate and undergraduate UT students. Our research projects only include participants aged 18 years or older. Individual participants are always sent a cover letter or email in which an explanation is given on the research. This shows at least who will be performing the investigation, whether this concerns research that is commissioned and – if this is the case – who the client is, as far as possible the purpose of the investigation, and what will happen to the data obtained. If there are questions about emotional or sensitive topics, this is indicated in the accompanying letter in such a way that the participant can estimate in advance whether he or she will contribute to this research. The questions are neutral in all cases (and not judgemental). Generally, the investigation should take no longer than 2 hours of the participant’s time, and they should give their permission for this. The participant can at any time refuse to continue with the investigation without having to state a reason.
  2. Confidentiality of participants is guaranteed, and at no time are participants asked to disclose information that could lead to their identification. If, despite the precautions taken, the identity of a participant does become traceable (for instance if surveys are returned by email) the results are always made anonymous when reporting or in the feedback process. If research is carried out on behalf of a specific client, the results are reported to that client in such a way that the client cannot identify individuals and small working units. Survey data is stored by researchers on password protected computers or laptops.
  3. Participants are questioned or observed individually or in small groups.
  4. Audio and/or video recordings of the interview or observed behaviour of subjects are regularly made. Only the researchers and their teams have access to private information and to identifiable data. Without written permission of the participants, concerned video and sound recordings will not be shared with third parties; recordings in which subjects can be identified are carefully managed and destroyed as soon as the interest of the research permits. All video and audio data is stored physically at the UT on password protected desktop computers that are located in a locked office, which can only be accessed by members of the research teams.
  5. The CMOB department often engages in mixed-method research during which physiological signals from participants are gathered such as heart rate and arousal levels, to better link internal processes with observable behaviour. Handling of the equipment is done by trained researchers or by the participants themselves. In the latter case, participants receive one or more training to facilitate correct handling of the equipment. The techniques used are non-invasive and do not in any way cause the participant physical discomfort, fear, pain or distress. Participants are informed about how the device operates and what kind of data it generates before commencement of a study. Furthermore, participants are made clear that they may refuse wearing devices during a study without giving a reason.
  6. If participants are identifiable then the following applies: 1) only the researcher has access to the identifiable data; 2) the personal details are destroyed as soon as this is possible (that is to say, as soon as linking the data is completed); and 3) the researchers must operate in accordance with privacy legislation.

The above also applies to the relatively common survey-based research conducted by this department. This type of research generally asks questions to students, employees, managers and experts about their organizational and professional environment; personal details or participants’ behaviour are also examined but always in the context of the behaviour as a member of a larger entity, focused on results in the work context. Participants are never exposed to physical discomfort or health and safety risks. If there are questions about emotional or sensitive topics the researcher must ensure that the questions are posed in such a way that there are no adverse effects on the participant him or herself or on other people in their environment. Finally, participants may choose to withdraw the data they have provided for the research.

Cognitive Psychology and Ergonomics

General research of the department of Cognitive Psychology and Ergonomics (CPE)

Contact: dr. R.H.J. van der Lubbe
Function: EC member
r.h.j.vanderlubbe@utwente.nl

Explanatory notes about fulfilled general requirements and conditions

Authorization CE: assessment of ethical permissibility by EC or by MEC

Research conducted by the CPE generally makes use of healthy, adult and competent subjects who participate on a voluntary basis (often for the sake of study credits) or for a minimal financial remuneration. In a few cases, students are selected on the basis of mild conditions such as dyslexia, ADHD, or on the basis of other criteria (e.g. synesthesia or number of years’ musical experience). In this case, recruitment takes place by means of posters or announcements at the beginning of large-scale lectures, and in a few instances, by approaching study advisors who have information about relevant data. In this last case, enquiries are only made indirectly (via the study advisor) concerning interest in participation, after which the students can themselves contact the relevant researcher. Research focuses on basic cognitive functions such as perception, memory, attention and motor skills, and also looks at how these processes are implemented in the brain. This kind of research can make use of psychophysiological measurements such as EEG, ECG, and GSR. These measurements, if used according to the standard guidelines, involve a negligible risk and therefore fall into category D.

Accidental discoveries: When using EEGs and ECGs, it is possible that accidental discoveries may be made. This should be stated on the various documents (recruitment documents and the information brochure). In addition, a special section for these measurements should be included on the informed consent form.

Deception and debriefing: Some research involves making use of an implicit manipulation, such as when learning motor sequences or when presenting subliminal stimuli. During the debriefing, the subject should be informed about this manipulation.

Recruitment of subjects: Some studies, for instance research into the processing of pain stimuli, or the registration of EEG, involve procedures which are to some extent unpleasant. Subjects should already be informed about this during the recruitment. Furthermore, sometimes stimulus material is used which is insulting, offensive or, for some people, inappropriate (e.g. photographs of victims of a violent crime, explicit sexual photographs, etc.). This should also be reported during the recruitment.

Specific type of standard research: Psychophysics/Behavioural research

The majority of the research conducted by the CPE department falls into this category. This involves experiments in which the subject is confronted with visual, auditory, tactile and pain stimuli which can either be presented separately or simultaneously. The task is usually aimed at processes relevant to perception, attention, memory and motor skills. In most cases, the subject sits in front of a computer monitor and sometimes also a number of loudspeakers, or the subject has a number of tactile stimulation devices attached to one or more fingers. Tactile stimuli are presented via dismantled 8 Ohm loudspeaker cones. These are taped onto the ring and index fingers of both hands, and driven by Presentation software. In addition, the vibrations presented are amplified by two EC-approved mini amplifiers E-SA9. Usually, the subject in these experiments has to press buttons with one or more fingers, depending on which stimulus is presented. The subject does not sit in this set-up for longer than four consecutive hours, nor does (s)he participate in this kind of research more than three times a week. The head is not fixed for this. The subject is observed via a closed-circuit camera and no recordings are made of the subject. The stimulus material used falls roughly into two categories:   

a. It is emotionally neutral: visual stimuli consist of abstract forms or simple images; sounds presented are words, tones, or noise for instance; tactile stimuli consist of short vibrations. In all cases, the stimulus intensity used does not exceed any critical limit (e.g. 100 lumen / 100 dB).

b. It is emotionally charged: the stimuli are developed to specifically elicit particular emotions. In this case, only stimuli from standard stimulus-sets (IAPS, IADS) may be used, normal human faces expressing particular emotions, and pain stimuli such as those used in research into nociception. In the case of pain stimuli, use should be made of EC-certified stimulation equipment especially developed for this purpose and the research should be conducted by an experienced researcher in this field. Previous research with similar stimuli has been evaluated positively by the Roessingh METC. The following aspects were specified. The different levels at which the electric stimuli are presented are determined individually in a pre-test. The strength of the electrical current is determined for the level at which a stimulus can first be detected (sensory threshold; VAS-score 1), the level at which the stimulus is experienced as uncomfortable (pain threshold; VAS-score of about 5), and the level at which the stimulus is experienced as extremely painful (pain tolerance level; VAS-score of about 9). The stimuli for the experiment are then set to a level well below the pain tolerance level (VAS-score of about 7). The number of pain stimuli above the pain threshold is kept low (< 200) and there is an interval of at least 3 seconds between these stimuli. Subjects are screened for possible oversensitivity and should not partake of any drugs or alcohol in the 24 hours preceding participation. Furthermore, mood assessment questionnaires are filled in prior to and after completion of the experiment. Participants are informed quite explicitly that they can decide at any time and without giving any reason whatsoever to withdraw from the experiment. There are no adverse consequences linked to this. In the unlikely event that any harmful effects do occur after all, e.g. spontaneously reported by the participant or observed by the researcher, then these will be noted and reported to the CE. The researcher and/or the UT has a third party liability insurance which is in accordance with legal conditions in the Netherlands (Article 7 WMO and the rules for Compulsory Insurance in Medical Research Involving Human Subjects 23 June 2003). This insurance covers possible losses suffered by research participants due to injury or death which may have resulted from the research.

Specific type of standard research: Psychophysiological research (EEG, EOG, ECG, EMG)

In this research, use is usually made of stimuli as described in the type of research detailed above, whereby the head of the subject is fitted with an elastic cap (Easy-Cap; Falk Minow Services, Herrsching, Germany). Up to a maximum number of 64 Ag/AgCL ring electrodes are attached to this cap for recording the electro-encephalogram (EEG). Different referencing methods are used for the signal such as mastoids, earlobes, but usually the online average is taken as a reference. An earth electrode is also used. This allows free movement of the head. In addition, electrodes are usually attached around the eyes in order to register eye movements (the electrooculogram: EOG), and sometimes electrodes are also placed to measure the heart rate (the electrocardiogram: ECG) and muscle activity (the electromyogram: EMG). The electrodes are attached as specified in the Electro-Cap instruction manual. The physiological signals are amplified using a 72-channel amplifier (QuickAmp; BrainProducts GmbH) and Vision Recorder is used for further acquisition of the signals. Work is carried out according to the guidelines set out in the instruction manual of Easy-Cap. All equipment or materials used comply with required EC guidelines. The subject does not participate for longer than four hours at a time, with regular breaks (every 20 minutes or so). Furthermore, the subject may not participate more than twice a week in a similar experiment.

Specific type of standard research: Psychometric research

A few research studies involve questionnaires or interviews which can be regarded as standard research. However, in the case of patient groups who meet the DSM-IV criteria, for example, there may be cause for a strongly emotional state, and the proposed research should be examined more closely. A number of characteristics of the questionnaire research method are the following:   

a. Respondents individually fill in answers, in writing or electronically, to questions about themselves, their environment or others in their environment. Completing the questionnaire takes no longer than 1 hour.

b. Questionnaire subjects include cognitive skills (memory, language proficiency, numerical proficiency, IQ), learning styles, autobiographical memories, personality traits, health, use of medicines/drugs or psychoactive substances, mood, attitudes, opinions, emotional experiences, etc.

c. Deception is only allowed here if subjects are informed about it after the research has ended, in such a way as to eliminate possible negative effects resulting from the deception.

d. With questions on emotional or sensitive topics (for instance, traumatic experiences), the researcher is responsible for ensuring that these are phrased in such a way that neither the subject nor others in the subject's environment will experience any adverse effects. The questions in the research should always be of a neutral nature and therefore not judgemental.

e. No physical discomfort or health and safety risks are involved.

Communication Studies - Corporate & Marketing Communication

General research of the department of Communication Science - Corporate & Marketing Communication (CMC)

Contact: dr. J.F. Gosselt
Function: EC member
j.f.gosselt@utwente.nl

EXPLANATORY NOTES ABOUT FULFILLED GENERAL REQUIREMENTS AND CONDITIONS

Explanatory notes about fulfilled general requirements and conditions: The research conducted by the department of Communication Studies focuses on the internal and external communication of organizations and on marketing psychology.

Research themes include: the influence of communication on employees, the professionalism and effectiveness of internal communication processes, and the relationship between communication and internal and external perceptions. Research themes in marketing psychology include: consumer behaviour, the dynamics of social influencing, and Relationship Management in the services sector.

EC authorization: assessment of ethical permissibility by EC or by METC; the research is not medical in nature.

Selection of adult, competent persons. This is generally the case except in some cases of first-year Bachelor students aged under 18. In some cases subjects may be minors, namely:

1.When minors represent a specific target group (for example, cyber bullying);

2. When the research relates to organizations in which minors are specific stakeholders (one example of this is research into enforcing age restrictions on sales of alcohol and tobacco). In this example, minors act not only as objects of the research but also as subjects. Minors only participate in research projects after informed consent is obtained from the minors and from their parents;

3.When minors respond to a general request to take part in research (survey or log registration);

Voluntary participation. Subjects participate voluntarily in the research. Remuneration is not higher than the standard compensation amount.

Screening of subjects. Subjects are screened where necessary to guarantee that the random sample is representative for the population under investigation.

Accidental discoveries: These are not medical in nature.

Informed consent: This is generally the case. When subjects are observed (including electronic observation) and in cases where data could be traced to individuals, permission to use the data is requested retrospectively. Informed consent is not obtained for use of texts in the public domain (including weblogs, contributions to public debate fora); however, the texts are made anonymous in the research report.

Anonymity: Research data relating to persons is made anonymous as soon as possible in the research and certainly when it comes to reporting, unless the person concerned gives express permission to the contrary. Use of video recordings for any purpose other than obtaining and analysing results is only allowed if those concerned give their written permission.

Deception and debriefing: Deception may be deployed in some research projects, meaning that the goal of the research is not disclosed so as not to influence the behaviour of participants. For instance, when observing how people respond to documents or in cases of mystery shopping research. A debriefing is usually held once the research is complete.

Selection of subjects: Risks mentioned under a and b do not apply. Risks mentioned under c may apply when subjects have to perform tasks which require them to consult open sources for information, e.g. Internet. If these risks are greater than in their normal work, education or home environment, the subjects will be informed.

Specific type of standard research 1: Questionnaire-based research (for example, audit research)

Respondents answer a list of questions either individually, in writing or electronically, about communication resources or processes and, related to these, questions about themselves, their environment and people in their environment.

Generally, respondents' behaviour is not observed and no physiological measurements are taken. The true purpose of the research is not always disclosed to the participants in advance for a number of reasons, including the wish to prevent socially desirable responses. The true purpose of the research is explained to the participant during the debriefing. Generally, it takes no longer than 1 hour to complete the questionnaire. There is no physical discomfort, and there are no health and safety risks. Frequently asked questions in questionnaires from the Communications Programme group include: Personality traits (e.g. Need for Cognition, Need for Structure, aggression, dominance), attitudes, stereotypes, beliefs and preferences; experiences (e.g. as a result of physical disability or conditions); emotions, cognitions, and behaviour in social interactions (e.g. sales situations); autobiographical memories (e.g. the last time the subject was publicly insulted); etc. If there are questions about emotional or sensitive topics (such as conflicts, sexual behaviour etc.) the researcher must ensure that the questions are posed in such a way that there are no adverse effects on the respondent him or herself or on other people in their environment. The questions are neutral in all cases (and not judgemental). If research is conducted in the context of an organization, the researcher ensures that the dataset is not made available to the organization and that respondents are not traceable. At all times the researcher must stand between the organization and the respondent and ensure that a member of the organization does not experience any adverse effects as a consequence of his or her participation in the research.

Specific type of standard research 2: Face-to-face interviews

Respondents answer individual questions about communications processes or communications resources. Generally, respondents' behaviour is not observed and no physiological measurements are taken. The true purpose of the research is not always disclosed to the participants in advance for a number of reasons, including the wish to prevent socially desirable responses. The true purpose of the research is explained to the participant during the debriefing. Generally, an interview lasts no longer than 1 hour.

There is no physical discomfort, and there are no health and safety risks. An audio or video recording of the interview may be made but express permission of the subject must be obtained in advance. The recording is stored and processed in such a way that only the researcher is able to trace it back to the individual subject, and then only in cases where it is necessary to verify information at a later date or to obtain additional information. This means that protocols and recordings are labelled and stored anonymously and that personal details are not traceable.

Specific type of standard research 3: Telephone interviews

Respondents answer individual questions about communications processes or communications resources. At the start of the interview the interviewer states his/her name and the name of the organization (University of Twente) and checks whether this is an appropriate time for the interview to take place. If necessary, the interviewer arranges to conduct the interview at another time. The rules for face-to-face interviews given above also apply to telephone interviews.

 Specific type of standard research 4: Group interviews / focus groups

In groups, respondents answer questions about communications processes or communications resources. The moderator ensures that participants feel safe in the group and feel able to speak freely; he/she tries to prevent participants from being embarrassed or experiencing other emotional harm as a result of the behaviour of other participants. The rules for face-to-face interviews given above also apply.

Specific type of standard research 5: Lab research / experiment / eye-tracking studies

Procedure: Participants are exposed to stimuli, either individually or at the same time as other people. Their behaviour in response to the stimuli is measured using response time paradigmas, and/or recording of behaviour (e.g. facial expression of emotions), using a video camera and/or eye-tracking. Subjects may also be required to make choices, give judgements, or perform short tasks (for instance to disguise interrelationships between test elements, to reduce the incidence of response consistency). Participants are also required to complete questionnaires in which generally they may be asked the same questions as stated under standard research "Questionnaire-based research". Only the researchers and their teams have access to identifiable data, and video and sound recordings will not be shared with third parties; recordings in which subjects can be identified are carefully managed and destroyed as soon as the interest of the research permits. The following forms of deception are often used:

- The true or complete purpose of the research is not always disclosed to the participants in advance for a number of reasons, including the wish to prevent socially desirable responses. The true purpose of the research is explained to the participant during the debriefing.

- Participants sometimes receive manipulated feedback (false feedback) about personality, capacity or achievements in performing a task, providing no permanent adverse effects can be foreseen; in all cases, subjects are informed of this retrospectively.

- Participants are sometimes told that they are interacting with other subjects whilst this is not in fact the case.

- Participants are sometimes told that certain tasks have to be performed whilst this is not the case (not extremely unpleasant or burdensome tasks).

- In many cases one or more confederates are deployed to take on a specific role in the interaction with the participants who are unaware of this.

Lab research generally takes no longer than 1 hour. There is no physical discomfort, and there are no health and safety risks. Stimuli which are not presented subliminally tend to be (1) environments, texts, images, film fragments which trigger emotions/moods (mood/emotion manipulation), and/or (2) behaviour of a confederate. Stimuli which are presented subliminally tend to be pictures and/or words with either emotional or neutral connotations/meaning (such as 'violence', 'flower'). Stimulus material cannot reasonably be interpreted as shocking, frightening or insulting. Stimulus material may be emotionally charged, in other words it has been specifically developed to trigger certain positive or negative emotions, or else it can reasonably be expected to trigger these emotions.

In experiments in which subjects participate in groups (or dyads) there is no physical contact between subjects. In experiments which simulate conflict (such as research into negotiations or conflict management) the rule is that the experiment will be terminated if there is a risk of physical or verbal (cursing, screaming) violence.

Specific type of standard research 6: Observation of processing of documents (usability testing / thinking aloud method /approximation method)

Subjects are asked to perform a specific task and/or answer questions based on one or more soft and/or hard copy documents. If the experiment requires the use of personal information, (for instance income details when completing a form) a fictional scenario is generally used. While performing the task the subject may be asked to 'think aloud' in order to gain a better picture of how they are performing the task, the considerations which influence the subject's decisions, the misunderstandings or problems which arise during performance of the task and potential irritations which arise while the task is being performed. During the task subjects may be asked questions at various times about the cognitive effort, the motivation and the appreciation of the task. The subjects' behaviour is recorded in audio and video recordings, registration of key strokes and mouse movements, and notes made by the moderator. Once the task has been performed, subjects may be asked questions about their experience of the task performance, their assessment of the materials used and other task-related aspects. Before or after performing the task, subjects may be asked questions about personality traits relevant to the research. The recording is stored and processed in such a way that only the researcher is able to trace it back to the individual subject, and then only in cases where it is necessary to verify information at a later date or to obtain additional information. this means that protocols and recordings (audio and video) are stored anonymously and that only the team leader knows which recording relates to which subject. In the written protocols, names and other elements which could identify the subject are replaced by indications such as [name], [company name].

Specific type of standard research 7: Text-analytical research and conversation analysis ( for example content analysis)

Documents are analysed with the aim of identifying, defining and classifying language and text characteristics and/or drawing conclusions on their quality based on the analysis.

Documents in the public domain may be analysed without advance permission from the authors. This applies to products available via mass media and to documents which are openly accessible on the Internet (i.e. not protected by password or other forms of protection). Text-analytical research may also use non-public documents but only to the extent that the researcher has obtained them via proper means. The researcher ensures that these documents are not distributed further and that any content deemed to be confidential in nature is not made public. When citing documents examined in publications, the usual rules for copyright (citation permission of the person concerned to acquire texts above 250 words).

Specific type of standard research 8: Participating observation / mystery research

This method involves a person visiting a company or institution and playing the role of a customer without the staff of that company or institution being aware of this. Institutions and/or staff function as research units without having given their explicit permission. The true purpose of the research is not always disclosed to the participant in advance. The true purpose of the research is explained to the participant during the debriefing. Standard mystery research must meet the following minimum requirements in respect of the research units:

- The research units are situated so that they can reasonably be expected to be seen or heard by other people (for example in a shop).

- The information being researched is of great public interest.

- Conventional methods are highly unlikely to produce reliable results.

- Innocent people should not be exposed to risks. Accordingly, measures should be taken to ensure the anonymity of research units/participants.

Communication Studies - Media, Communication & Organisation

General research of the Department  Media, Communication and Organization (MCO)

Contact: dr. J. Gosselt
Function: EC member
j.f.gosselt@utwente.nl

Explanatory notes about fulfilled general requirements and conditions

Authorization EC: assessment of ethical permissibility by EC or by METC:

The standard research of MCO poses questions which are not of a medical nature. In general, the questions are concerned with the normal functioning of the human being in relationship to media, communication and organizations. Two research areas can be distinguished within the Department of Media, Communication & Organization: e-Government and media psychology.  

Specific type of standard research: Questionnaire-based research and qualitative research (field research)

a. Respondents individually fill in answers, in writing or electronically, to questions about themselves, their environment or others in their environment (friends, partner, fellow students, etc.) or are questioned orally either individually or as part of a group (focus group).

b. No observation of behaviour takes place and no physiological measurements are taken.

c. The real purpose of the research is not always disclosed to the participant prior to the research in order to prevent, among other things, socially desirable responses. The real purpose of the research is however always explained to the participant during the debriefing.

d. Deception is allowed only if participants are fully informed at the end of the research about the manner in which they have been misled during the research. The following form of deception is often used: giving false feedback on personality/abilities provided that no lasting harmful effects are anticipated.

e. Completing the questionnaire should not take longer than 1 hour; interviews and focus groups should not take longer than 2 hours.

f. No physical discomfort or health and safety risks are involved.

g. Content of frequently asked questions in MCO questionnaires and interviews includes: attitudes, opinions and preferences with regard to the use of media; emotional experiences/expressions with regard to particular media utterances; behaviour or behavioural intentions with regard to use of media; self-efficacy with regard to the use of media technology; motives for media use; personality factors.

h. If questions are asked about emotional or sensitive topics (such as aggression, addiction, etcetera), the researcher is responsible for ensuring that the questions are formulated in such a way that neither the participant nor others in the participant's environment will experience any adverse effects. The questions posed in the research should always be of a neutral nature and therefore not judgemental.

Specific type of standard research: Laboratory research

a. Procedure: Participants are exposed to stimuli (usually video fragments or other visual material) or they play a game. Their behaviour in reaction to the stimuli is measured by recording the behaviour and/or by letting participants fill in questionnaires.

b. No physiological measurements have been taken to date, but this will take place in the near future.

c. The real purpose of the research is not always disclosed to the participant prior to the research in order to prevent,  among other things, socially desirable responses. The real purpose of the research is however always explained to the participant during the debriefing.

d. The following form of deception is often used: suggesting a particular task (for instance evaluating stimuli) whilst the actual measurement involves behaviour(al intentions), aroused emotions or memory abilities.

e. Laboratory research should not take longer than 1 hour.

f. No physical discomfort or health and safety risks are involved.

g. Stimuli which are presented are often (1) video fragments to induce emotions/moods (mood/emotion manipulation), (2) games (including first-person shooters).

Educational Science

General research of the department of educational science (OWK)

Contact: dr. M.D. Endedijk
Function: EC contactperson
m.d.endedijk@utwente.nl

Explanatory notes about the nature the research

Description of standard research conducted by the Educational Science department

General

The Educational Science department conducts research into factors which determine the effectiveness and efficiency of learning and education arrangements in education institutions and professional organizations. The research is both fundamental and applied. A variety of research and design methodologies are combined with empirical knowledge to develop solutions to specific problems in the field of learning and education environments in education institutions and professional organizations. The research focuses on learning results, learning processes, characteristics of people and organizations and their inter-relationships

The research is not medical in nature. The research is conducted at education institutions and professional organizations in close collaboration with the parties involved. Before taking part in the research, subjects (and where necessary their parents/carers) are informed in advance about the objective and the content of the research. In addition, they are required to give passive or active permission. Subjects take part in the research voluntarily and are rewarded in the form of a small gift, a sum of money, a presentation/information session or participation points. Subjects are recruited directly via educational institutions and work organizations or through advertisements or the SONA system. If desired, the subjects are informed of the results following their participation. In addition, subjects may contact the lead researcher with questions at any time.

Anonymity of subjects is safeguarded. Anonymity is always guaranteed when it comes to reporting the research findings or giving feedback.

If required by the research, some subjects may be excluded from participation. For instance if participants suffer from dyslexia, dyscalculia, attention deficit or other problems which might affect their ease of learning. Specific criteria for inclusion or exclusion may also be applied, for instance with a view to matching with other subjects on the basis of gender, pre-knowledge or intellectual capacity. 

Specific type of standard research: Questionnaire-based research and qualitative research

a. Respondents individually fill in answers, in writing or electronically, to questions about themselves, their environment or others in their environment (parents, friends, partner, fellow students, managers, colleagues etc.) or are questioned orally either individually or as part of a group (focus group).

b. In some cases audio or video recordings of the interview or observed behaviour of subjects are made. Only the researchers and their teams have access to identifiable data, and video and sound recordings will not be shared with third parties before obtaining explicit permission of the subjects concerned; recordings in which subjects are identifiable are carefully managed, and destroyed as soon as the interest of the research permits.

c. It takes no longer than 2 hours to complete the questionnaire; in-depth interviews last no longer than a half-day.

d. There is no physical discomfort, and there are no health and safety risks.

e. If there are questions about emotional or sensitive topics (such as conflicts, bullying, aggression) the researcher must ensure that the questions are posed in such a way that there are no adverse effects on the respondent him or herself or on other people in their environment. The questions are neutral in all cases.

f. If required by the research question, it may be necessary to link the information obtained from the surveys to other data. If data are linked to other sources (e.g. data from other respondents, administrative details), the respondent is informed in advance. Based on this information the respondent may refuse to complete the survey or refuse permission for the data to be linked.

The following links are routinely made:

  • Link to administrative details (e.g. related to sick leave or productivity, test results);
  • Link to data obtained from other respondents (e.g. team members, subordinates, supervisors);
  • Link to data obtained earlier from the same respondent (in longitudinal research);
  • A combination of the above.

g. If respondents are identifiable then the following applies: Only the researcher has access to the identifiable data. The personal details are destroyed as soon as the data linking is complete.

h. The researcher operates in accordance with privacy legislation.

Specific type of standard research: Field and lab experiments

a. In experiments subjects are exposed to interventions designed to influence how subjects learn. The interventions may include training and/or coaching sessions, supportive task structuring (e.g. scaffolding), visualization (e.g. concept maps, video etc.), hints, prompts and forms of adaptive feedback or other stimuli (task, playing games, light etc.). The interventions are supported by software or by a moderator. The effects of these interventions are evaluated through pre- and post-retention test designs with a control group and one or more experimental groups. Learning results are measured using standarized tests and validated tests. Learning processes (including behaviour) are measured on the basis of observations, questionnaires, interviews, protocols for interaction and thinking aloud, and computer log files. Only the researcher and his/her research team have access to data in which the subjects are identifiable. Audio and video recordings will not be shared with third parties without written permission of the respondents concerned. Recordings in which subjects are identifiable are carefully managed, and destroyed as soon as the interest of the research permits.

b. The true purpose of the research is not always disclosed to the participants in advance for a number of reasons, including the wish to prevent socially desirable responses. The true purpose of the research is always explained to the participant during the debriefing.

c. The following forms of deception may be used:

  • suggestion of a specific task (for example a puzzle task) while the ultimate measurement relates primarily to the emotions triggered or behaviour (sintentions) such as information-seeking behaviour;
  • participants sometimes receive manipulated feedback about personality, capacity or achievements in performing a task, providing no permanent adverse effects can be foreseen. In all cases, subjects are informed of this retrospectively;

d. Physiological measurements are sometimes taken.

e. There is no physical discomfort, and there are no health and safety risks.

Finance & Accounting

General research of the department of Finance & accounting (F&A)

Contact: dr. H.C. van Beusichem
Function: EC contact person
h.c.vanbeusichem@utwente.nl

Explanatory notes about the nature of the research

Het onderzoek van de vakgroep Finance en Accounting wordt uitgevoerd door middel van kwantitatieve en kwalitatieve onderzoeksmethoden. Het onderzoek is veelal kwantitatief van aard en richt zich vooral op publiek beschikbare gegevens van zowel kleine, middelgrote en grote ondernemingen en financiële markten. Hierbij valt te denken aan door ondernemingen gepubliceerde financiële en niet-financiële informatie, bijvoorbeeld jaarverslagen, berichtgevingen aan analisten, prospectussen, CSR rapporten, etc. Daarnaast maken we gebruik van databases welke toegankelijk zijn via de Universiteitsbibliotheek, bijvoorbeeld ORBIS. Bij onderzoek op basis van interviews of vragenlijsten worden er hoofdzakelijk vragen gesteld over de organisatorische en professionele omgeving van geïnterviewden en respondenten. Experimenteel onderzoek met proefpersonen welke wordt verricht door studenten en (onder leiding van) medewerkers van Finance en Accounting gebeurd in overeenstemming met de facultaire richtlijnen zoals vastgelegd in de Regeling voor Ethiek en Onderzoek en de richtlijnen die zijn vastgelegd door de Council of Representatives of the American Psychological Association (aangenomen 1 Augustus 2012 en geldig tot 1 Augustus 2022). Verder zullen medewerkers van Finance en Accounting indien gewerkt wordt met proefpersonen vooraf toestemming vragen aan de facultaire Commissie Ethiek (CE) van BMS.

Bij alle onderzoeksvormen zullen de personen (zoals bijvoorbeeld studenten, medewerkers, managers, aandeelhouders, analisten en overige professionals) deelnemen op basis van vrijwilligheid en zonder enige vorm van druk. Verder zullen de deelnemers niet worden blootgesteld aan ongemak, veiligheids- en gezondheidsrisico’s. Onderzoeksresultaten worden uitsluitend geanonimiseerd gerapporteerd tenzij in specifieke gevallen anders is overeengekomen.

Governance and Technology for Sustainability

General research of the department of governance and technology for sustainability (CSTM)

contact: dr. V.I. Daskalova
function: EC contact person
v.i.daskalova@utwente.nl

Explanatory notes about fulfilled general requirements and conditions

The department carries out research primarily in the area of effectiveness of policy development and implementation, on legal design and on understanding human decision-making in the economic domain. Research can take a form of a survey among individuals (e.g. private persons, entrepreneurs, farmers, civil servants, politicians, NGOs) or laboratory experiments with human subjects (both usually done through a specialised external partner). CSTM does not do research of a medical nature and does not engage in topics that may bring any damage to physical or mental health to objects of experimentation. 

Storage and access to research data: as UT and majority of funding agencies and some journals these days require to offer access to the data(-matrices) based on which certain research has been performed, CSTM data can be stored at the IGS DataLab. The data collected at CSTM, in as much as it concerns ‘data matrices’ (overviews of quantitative or qualitative scores on a number of variables per research unit) should be stored in the IGS Datalab unless there is a conflict with collaborators outside UT or a privacy issue involved.

Qualitative data from interviews (like interview transcripts or interview voice recordings), which involves (i) sensitive private information or (ii) make a respondent identifiable, can be neither stored nor receive public access due to privacy reasons. Qualitative data that does not have either, can be stored in the IGS DataLab given that there are resources to digitise it. As a rule quantitative data needs to be stored in the IGS DataLab, unless it infringes upon respondents’ privacy. When data is stored in the IGS DataLab it should also provide basic information such as year of collection, research domain and the name of the contact person (by default the person who collected the data or responsible for collecting the data). Since data collection is often very costly and access to data influences the competitiveness of a researcher/research group, there may be a time lag between the period when the data is collected and when it should be stored for public access in the DataLab.    

Authorization: assessment of ethical permissibility by EC or MEC

Research conducted by CSTM is non-medical. When involving human respondents and representatives of organizations, it concerns normal functioning of human beings or human organizations and institutions in decision-making, decision implementation and adherence to social or legal standards or norms, economic choices and decisions under uncertainty.

Selection of persons: subjects participate on voluntary bases, sometimes with remuneration/compensation for costs. If that stage of research is outsourced to a third specialised party (surveying agency, experimental laboratory at another institute), the latter applies its own regulated protocol here. 

Screening of persons: only on the basis of research/methodological criteria. If that stage of research is outsourced to a third specialised party (surveying agency, experimental laboratory at another institute), the latter applies its own regulated protocol here. 

Accidental discoveries: no general clauses exist on this aspect (e.g. findings on individuals’ criminal conduct or health impacts), as it seems unlikely to involve findings that affect respondents’ personal life/health.


Informed consent and information brochure: given the nature of most CSTM research there is no brochure but the general policy is that the (responsible) researcher discusses with respondents about possible publication of data and how to address possible sensitiveness of information.

 Specific types of standard CSTM-research (C1-4)

C1. Interviews using semi-structured questionnaires

  1. Respondents individually or in pairs or focus answer questions raised by one or more interviewers. Questions are about themselves, their environment others in their professional environment, and societal challenges that have to do with sustainable development in one way or another.
  2. Questioned are raised orally and/or by written questionnaire, and are observed individually or by multiple researchers.
  3. In many cases, audio or video recordings are made of the interview or the behaviour of respondents to be observed. Only the researcher and his/her staff have access to the identifiable data,
  4. The audio and video recordings are not made available to third parties without the written permission of the respondents concerned; recordings in which subjects are identifiable are carefully stored and are destroyed when no longer needed for the purposes of the research.
  5. Interview video and audio files are typically used to draft near-literal interview transcripts that can be used for qualitative and mixed-method data analysis.
  6. Data analysis of interview data takes place either in two forms: (i) by interpretation of interview data; and (ii) by treatment (‘coding’) and analysis of qualitative data using qualitative analysis software packages (e.g. Atlas.ti; NVivo). The latter is done to retrieve patterns or to compare data provided by (groups of) interview subjects.
  7. Answering of semi-structured questionnaires/doing the interviews takes between 30 minutes and 5 hours. Of course the length of the interview depends upon the willingness and permission given by the interviewee.
  8. No physical discomfort or health and safety risks are inflicted upon interviewees.
  9. Content of frequently asked questions in questionnaires and interviews addresses the following issues: attitudes, opinions and preferences with regard to sustainability issues, behaviour during conflicts or negotiations, opinions on security issues (and personality factors). Important with group observations is the team cohesion and the attitude toward the leader. Issues also typically involve the role of public administration and policies.
  10. If questions are asked about emotional or sensitive subjects (such as conflicts, bullying, aggression), the researcher is responsible for ensuring that the questions are formulated in such a way that neither the participant nor others in the participant's environment will experience any adverse effects. The questions posed in the research should always be of a neutral nature and therefore not judgemental.


C2. Questionnaire-based, cross-sectional surveys with linked data and longitudinal surveys (field research)

The general provisions are fulfilled, except the provision that the respondent does not fill in any information which could reveal his or her identity. After all: this information is necessary in order to link the data from the questionnaire to other data. The following links are standard:

  1. Links with administrative data (e.g. with regard to unexplained absence or productivity).
  2. Links to data obtained from other respondents (e.g. fellow team members, subordinates, supervisors).
  3. Links to data obtained previously from the same respondent (in longitudinal research).
  4. A combination of what is stated under a, b and c.

If respondents are identifiable then the following applies:

  1. Only the researcher has access to the identifiable data.
  2. The personal details are destroyed as soon as this is possible (that is to say, as soon as linking the data is completed).
  3. In general, the researcher must operate in accordance with privacy legislation.

If data are linked to other sources (e.g. data from other respondents, administrative data), then the respondent is informed of this prior to linking the data. On the basis of this information, the respondent may refuse to fill in the questionnaire or allow the linking to actually take place. In longitudinal surveys, no more than 5 measurements may take place, and not more than 1 measurement per month.

 C3. Questionnaire-based and qualitative research (field research)

  1. Respondents individually fill in answers, in writing or electronically, to questions about themselves, their environment or others in their environment (friends, partner, fellow students, etc.) and are
  2. questioned orally or observed individually or as part of a group.
  3. In some cases, audio or video recordings are made of the interview or the behaviour of respondents to be observed. Only the researcher and his
  4. /her staff have access to the identifiable data, and audio and video recordings are not made available to third parties without the express
  5. written permission of the respondents concerned; recordings in which subjects are identifiable are carefully stored and are destroyed when no longer needed for the purposes of the research.
  6. Completing the questionnaire should not take longer than 1 hour; extended interviews (for example with police negotiators) may not last longer than one session(morning, afternoon).
  7. No physical discomfort or health and safety risks are involved.
  8. Content of frequently asked questions in questionnaires and interviews: attitudes, opinions and preferences with regard to risks such as floods or terrorism, behaviour during conflicts or negotiations, opinions on security issues (e.g. surveillance cameras or metal detector gates) and personality factors. Important with group observations is the team cohesion and the attitude toward the leader.
  9. If questions are asked about emotional or sensitive subjects (such as conflicts, bullying, aggression), the researcher is responsible for ensuring that the questions are formulated in such a way that neither the participant nor others in the participant's environment will experience any adverse effects. The questions posed in the research should always be of a neutral nature and therefore not judgemental.


C4. Experimental/laboratory research

Laboratory experiments with human subjects are undertaken to understand human decision-making a specific situation, primarily with respect to economic choices and decisions under uncertainty. To date, this has usually been carried out by CSTM staff in a laboratory outside UT. A typical experiment involves human subjects, who participate voluntarily and sometimes receive some monetary reward based on their performance. Participants usually sit individually behind computer screens in a lab and make choices depending on the rules of an experiment (clearly communicated to them) and information shown on a screen (usually information on own past performance and some aggregated data on the actions of a group, e.g. market price over time). Their choices (often a choice of an option A vs. B or a price they are willing to pay for a good with specific properties) are recorded and serve as a research data for analysis. An experiment may be accompanied by a brief questionnaire on basic socio-demographic data of a participant. No sensors are used. An experiment may last 1-2 hours.

Health, Technology and Services Research

General research of the department Health Technology and Services Research (HTSR)

Contact: Dr. Anke Lenferink
Function: EC contactpersons
a.lenferink@utwente.nl 

Explanatory notes about the nature of the research

Please note that the application procedure for ethical approval by students and staff from the HTSR department is slightly different from the BMS procedure for other departments. HTSR researchers planning research with human subjects are always required to use the CCMO template. When the human subjects research is not assessed by a Medical Ethics Review Committee (METC), please answer and finish the questions in the BMS web application. Then email your completed CCMO template to the EC secretariat, make sure you mention your EC requestnumber in this email.

Human Resource Management

General research of the department of Human Resource management (HRM)

Contact: dr. J.G. Meijerink
Function: EC contact person
j.g.meijerink@utwente.nl

Explanatory notes about the nature of the research

Working in the environment of the technical university, this department specializes in two lines of HRM Technology & Innovation research: HRM & Innovation Performance and Innovating HRM Function. The sub-field HRM & Innovation Performance focuses on the contribution of HRM to multi-level individual, team and organizational performance. The sub-field Innovating HRM Function focuses on the effectiveness of various innovations in the HRM function and their value creation for organizations.

Specific type of standard research: Questionnaire-based research – cross-sectional individual survey without data linkage

Respondents individually fill in answers, in writing or electronically, to questions about themselves, colleagues, managers, or other people in their environment, about the organization (e.g. policy or strategy) or about HRM (HRM policy, HRM practices). Questionnaires are sent to multiple organizations or a single organization (case study). Respondents' behaviour is not observed and no physiological measurements are taken. Participation is voluntary and if any compensation is offered, it is proportionate (no more than EUR 10 per hour). Generally, it takes no longer than 1 hour to complete the questionnaire.

The questionnaire is always sent with an explanatory covering letter or email. This shows at least who will be performing the investigation, whether it concerns research that is commissioned and – if this is the case – who the client is, as far as possible the purpose of the investigation, and what happens to the data obtained. If there are questions about emotional or sensitive topics, this is indicated in the accompanying letter in such a way that the respondent can estimate in advance whether he or she will contribute to this research. The questions are neutral in all cases (and not judgemental). The respondent may at any time refuse to complete the survey or parts of it.

Anonymity of subjects is safeguarded and respondents are never asked to provide information which could serve to identify them. If, despite the precautions taken, the identity of a participant does become traceable (for instance if surveys are returned by email) the results are always made anonymous when reporting or in the feedback process. If research is carried out on behalf of a specific client, the results are reported to that client in such a way that the client cannot identify individuals.

 

Specific type of standard research: Questionnaire-based research – cross-sectional individual survey with data linkage and longitudinal surveys

The same conditions apply as to cross-sectional individual surveys except for the condition that respondents are never asked to provide information which could serve to identify them. After all this information is necessary to link the data obtained from the survey with other data. The following links are routinely made:

a. Link to administrative details (e.g. related to sick leave or productivity).

b. Link to data obtained from other respondents (e.g. team members, subordinates, supervisors.

c. Link to data obtained earlier from the same respondent (in longitudinal research).

d. A combination of the situations stated at a, b and c.

If respondents are identifiable then the following applies:

  1. Only the researcher has access to the identifiable data.
  2. The personal details are destroyed as soon as possible (i.e. when the data linking is complete).
  3. Generally, the researcher operates in accordance with privacy legislation. If data are linked to other sources (e.g. data from other respondents, administrative details), the respondent is informed in advance. Based on this information the respondent may decide not to complete the survey or refuse permission for the data to be linked.

Specific type of standard research – qualitative research

Commonly used forms of qualitative research by HRM are in-depth interviews and focus group research. Standard research is characterized by:

1.       Respondents are questioned orally or are observed, either individually or as part of a group.

2.       Respondents within a single organization (case study) or multiple organizations may take part in research.

3.       In some cases audio or video recordings of the interview or observed behaviour of subjects are made. Only the researchers and their teams have access to identifiable data, and video and sound recordings will not be shared with third parties without explicit permission of the respondents. Recordings in which subjects are identifiable are carefully managed and destroyed as soon as the interest of the research permits.

4.       Generally, the research takes no longer than 2 hours to complete.

5.       There is no physical discomfort, and there are no health and safety risks.

6.       Questions asked in HRM-related qualitative research focus on things like attitudes, beliefs, perceptions in respect of organizational policy, actors in organizations (such as managers), organizational units (such as HRM departments) or technology in organizations (such as e-HRM or social media).

7.       If there are questions about emotional or sensitive topics (such as conflicts at work) the researcher must ensure that the questions are posed in such a way that there are no adverse effects on the respondent him or herself or on other people in their environment. The questions are neutral in all cases and not judgemental.

Industrial Engineering and Business Information Systems

General research of the department of Industrial Engineering and business information systems (IEBIS)

Contact: prof.dr. W.H.M. Zijm
Function: EC contact person
w.h.m.zijm@utwente.nl

Explanatory notes about the nature of the research

The department of Industrial Engineering and Business Information Systems (IEBIS) conducts high-quality interdisciplinary research in the area of Industrial Engineering and Business Information Systems. The research is focused on the design and optimization of supply chains and logistics, healthcare processes, maintenance and reliability, security and risk management, and finance and professional services.

Scientific and Societal characterization

IEBIS applies methods from design theory and systems engineering to develop decision support systems and information architectures aimed at the optimization of business processes in the indicated focal areas. The goal is to enhance efficiency, quality of service and flexibility of the systems we study, while satisfying social and environmental constraints

IEBIS researchers closely collaborate with industries and institutes in the service and healthcare sector, as well as with companion knowledge institutes, as exemplified by the (almost exclusively externally funded) project portfolio. We focus on projects that substantially impact innovation of real life systems, while at the same time contributing profoundly to the international scientific knowledge base. Although the healthcare sector obviously concerns medical treatments, our research exclusively focuses on improving organizational effectivity, never the individual behavior of either cure and care personnel or patients/clients. That is: research is of a non-medical nature.

Methodologically, our research is based on quantitative (Operations Research) models and algorithms for both deterministic and stochastic systems, discrete event simulation and serious gaming, ICT architectures and business modeling, data mining and business analytics, and prototyping to create and evaluate innovative concepts. Both central and distributed control architectures for inter-organizational systems (e.g. multi-agent models) are applied.

In analyzing existing organizational practices, often interviews are used (oral and by telephone), group interviews, as well as stakeholder workshops to further explore and analyse organisational behaviour. In addition, sometimes questionnaires are used. With respect to cybersecurity, research may involve the observation of individuals in their reaction to specific challenges. In such a case, care is taken that all relevant management levels are informed and, in case of doubt, the Ethical Committee is consulted.

Standard research methods: conditions

Standard research with human subjects takes place under the following conditions.

Interviews:

  1. Participants are whenever possible informed about the aim and nature of the research activities in advance of the research.  If the research takes place within an organization, approval and cooperation of the proper authorities within that organization (director, manager or board) is sought before approaching any individuals for the research.
  2. Participants are asked for explicit consent before the research starts. Interviews in general will not take more than 2 hours. If a questionnaire has te be filled in, completion will take maximally one hour.
  3. If responses, behaviour of and/or interactions between respondents are recorded on audio or video, respondents will always be asked permission for such recording before the recording starts. Only the researcher and co-researchers have access to identifiable information, and audio- and video recordings will not be shown to others without explicit permission of the respondent. Recordings which can be linked to the person of participants will be kept secure and safe and will be destroyed as soon as the research project allows. In transcriptions of interviews, observations, focus groups and workshops, participants will not be referred to by name, but by code or pseudonym. Participants will be asked for confirmation with the written reproduction of their recordings.
  4. Participants are made aware that they can withdraw from the research any time without giving their reasons, and such withdrawal is respected.
  5. The researcher takes care that participants at the end of the interview are clearly informed about the next steps in the research, and whether and how they will be approached during these steps. In particular, the researcher explains whether the participants will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the transcripts and/or the analysis of the interviews, and if so, when and how.
  6. Participants can indicate whether they would like to be informed about the results of the research, and the researcher takes care that those participants who are interested are informed as soon as possible.

Focus groups and stakeholder workshops:

  1. Focus groups and workshops last no more than one day. Each morning/afternoon/evening will have at least one break, and in between there will also be a break.
  2. The researcher ensures that the group meeting or workshop is properly moderated, so that all participants feel sufficiently safe to share their views, and have equal opportunity to participate. The researcher can moderate the meeting him/herself, or ask an independent person to do so.
  3. Next to the moderator, one or two additional observers may be present, who are introduced as such at the start of the meeting.
  4. The activities participants are asked to perform during the focus group or workshop are usually discursive. They will not cause any physical harm to, nor pose any safety- or health risk for the participants.
  5. The researcher takes care that participants at the end of the meeting are clearly informed about the next steps in the research and whether and how they will be approached about these steps. In particular, the researcher explains whether the participants will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the transcripts and/or the analysis, and if so, how. 

Not-standard research method:

Specific for research on cybercriminality: experimental set-up

  1. Research involving individual behaviour may for instance concern the reaction of students to particular challenges such as phishing mails. In such cases, all appropriate management levels are early informed and asked for explicit consent.
  2. The researcher takes care that nothing that s/he publishes or otherwise makes public permits identification of individuals or puts their welfare or security at risk. During their research, the researcher will always handle information received from test subjects most confidentially.
  3. Researcher will make sure that test subjects will be adequately debriefed and asked for their consent after their participation in the experimental set-up. 
Instructional Technology

General research of the department of instructional technology (IST)

Contact: dr. h. van der Meij
Function: EC member
h.vandermeij@utwente.nl

Explanatory notes about the nature of the research

Department of Instructional Technology (IST)

Explanatory notes about fulfilled general requirements and conditions

The department carries out research among other things on the effectiveness of modern didactic methods in which ICT tools often play a role. The research is not medical by nature. The experimental environment is a school classroom in vivo whereby groups of pupils act as subjects. The school heads are kept informed of the nature and scope of the didactic experiments. In consultation with the school heads, the extent to which it is sufficient to inform parents of forthcoming experiments in which the drastic nature of the experimental didactic method with regard to the method in force is the criterion, is constantly assessed.

Authorization CE: assessment of ethical permissibility by EC or by MEC

The standard research of IST poses questions which are not of a medical nature. In general, the questions are concerned with the normal functioning of the human being in relationship to learning, reasoning and decision-making. The department carries out research on the effectiveness of modern didactic methods in which information technology often plays an important role. The subjects are pupils in primary and secondary education, and pupils/students in senior secondary vocational education, higher professional education and at university. School classes are regularly used as groups in research. The school heads are kept informed of the nature and scope of the didactic experiments. The way in which the parents/carers of the children are informed and their permission requested for the participation of their child in the experiments is determined in consultation.

Selection of adult, competent persons: Subjects participate voluntarily in the research and are remunerated for their participation. This is not necessarily the case for research carried out in schools. Remuneration can be in the form of a small gift, an amount of money or so-called human subject points. Remuneration can also be in the form of a reciprocal service to a school (e.g. a presentation or providing information). Subjects are recruited via direct contact with schools, advertisements, posters or via the SONA system [web-based human subject pool management software for universities].

Screening of subjects:

If the research so requires, some subjects are excluded from participation in the research. This could be on the basis of the presence of dyslexia, dyscalculia, attention deficit or other problems which make learning difficult. Further screening can be on the basis of vision problems, for instance in experiments where eye movements are registered or experiments where colour perception is important. Furthermore, specific inclusion or exclusion criteria can be employed for the sake of matching with other subjects on the basis of gender, foreknowledge or intellectual capacities for example.

Accidental discoveries: In the case of EEG measurements, a provision is included in the informed consent for a procedure to be followed should any abnormalities be found in the EEG which could possibly indicate a disorder (e.g. epilepsy). The subject should provide the name and location of his/her general practitioner, or the full address of the GP’s surgery or group practice to be notified in the event of a discovery that may be of vital importance to the subject. Should the subject not have a general practitioner, then (s)he should agree to a student medical service doctor or, more commonly, a company doctor being notified. The subject must agree to this procedure and acknowledge this by signing a separate clause on the informed consent form.

Informed consent and Information brochure: The subject (or his/her legal representative if the subject is under 18 years of age), after taking cognizance of the information brochure accompanying the research and prior to participation in the research, signs an informed consent form. If the research takes place in a school, this procedure can also be carried out via the school heads who inform the parents/carers thus providing, together with the researchers, a kind of passive approval. Parents/carers are obliged to indicate any objections. If they do not do so before a given date, then they have implicitly given their consent. Sufficient time must be given to the parents/carers in which to react.

Specific type of standard research: Didactic research

In this kind of research, subjects perform learning tasks which usually make use of digital learning environments. These can be an individual learning task or a task which should be performed together with one or more other subjects. Different conditions may apply in which the effect of a certain type of instruction or support is investigated. If the research is conducted in schools, care is taken to ensure that these instructions do not put subjects belonging to a certain condition either at an advantage or disadvantage in their functioning at school in relation to subjects belonging to other conditions. Taking the duration of the experiments into account, this is seldom likely to be the case. Pre-tests and post- tests, questionnaires (motivation, personality) or other specific tests (for instance intelligence tests, aptitude tests, neuro-psychological tests) may form part of the didactic research. In the (collaborative) learning environments, use is sometimes made of a chat system. The content of the chats, as well as the thinking out loud protocols and computer log files can serve as objects of analysis.

Specific type of standard research: Psychophysiological research

This kind of research is carried out with the help of EEG and eye movement registration. Use is primarily made of visual stimuli which are related to aspects of digital learning environments (e.g. representations).

Specific type of standard research: Usability studies

Usability studies are studies in which learning environments are examined for their user friendliness. Subjects pass through a learning environment according to a set protocol and thereafter answer questions via questionnaires or semi-structured interviews on their experiences with the learning environment. This type of research is intended to optimize the design of learning environments.

Philosophy

General research of the department of Philosophy (PHIL)

Contact: dr. M. Boenink
Function: EC chair
m.boenink@utwente.nl

Explanatory notes about the nature of the research

The standard research of the department concerns the functioning of science and technology, the development of new scientific knowledge and new technologies and the impact that science and technology have (or may have) on (parts of) society. Usually the research is performed by way of literature study or conceptual analysis. Research with human subjects is taking place when it is investigated empirically how technologies are developed, how existing practices of using a technology are functioning and what technology developers, (potential) users and stakeholders think of these practices and new developments. In these cases, the research is mainly qualitative and explorative. Standard methods used are interviews (oral and by telephone), group interviews, observations, focus groups, stakeholder workshops and text analysis of documents. 

Authorization CE: assessment of ethical permissibility by Faculty Committee  or by Medical-Ethical Committee (METC)

The technologies and practices under investigation are sometimes of a medical nature. However, the goal of the research is usually not medical. If the goal of the research might be medical after all, the METC will asked to assess whether the research falls under the scope of the WMO.

Specific type of standard research: qualitative research and questionnaire-based research

Often used types of qualitative research at the department of Philosophy are interviews (face-to-face or by phone), group interviews, observations, focus groups and stakeholder workshops. In addition, sometimes questionnaires are used-. Standard research meets the following qualifications:

a.    Respondents individually fill in a questionnaire (on paper or electronically), or will be interviewed or observed, individually or in groups. The purpose of the research will always be announced before the start of the research.

b.    In some cases the interview, discussion or the behaviour to be observed of respondents are recorded on audio or video. Respondents will always be asked permission for such recording before the recording starts.. Only the researcher and co-researchers have access to identifiable information, and audio- and video recordings will not  be shown to others without explicit permission of the respondent. Recordings which can be linked to the person of participants will be kept secure and safe and will be destroyed as soon as the research project allows. In transcriptions of interviews, observations, focus groups and workshops, participants will not be mentioned by name but with a code.

c.    Filling in a questionnaire will last a maximum of one hour. Interviews in general will take no more than two hours.

d.    Focus groups and workshops last no more than one day (teach morning/afternoon/evening will have at least one break, and in between there will also be a break). The interaction between the participants can also be subject of investigation.

e.    Observations always concern existing practices (situations and practices will not be constructed especially for research purposes). The researcher must identify him-herself as such before the start of the observation. Permission of the participants always must be gained beforehand, if necessary also from the organisation the participants are part of (head of department or board).

f.     The research activities will not cause any physical harm to, nor pose any safety- or health risk for the participants.

g.    Common topics in questionnaires and oral interviews are: Knowledge of  and beliefs about new technologies; ways a technology is used; history of practices; underlying motives and reasons for present ways of doing; views about desirability of innovation of existing practices, norms and values underlying these views.

h.    If questions are asked about emotional or sensitive subjects (like psychiatric problems or socially controversial subjects) the researcher will take care to phrase questions in such a way that they are the least confronting as possible. 

Specific type of standard research: text-analytic research and conversation analysis

Documents are analysed with the aim to reconstruct and differentiate several ways of thinking and speaking, and/or to determine their quality on the basis of this analysis. Sometimes the interaction between several perspectives can also be the subject of analysis.

Public documents can be analysed without prior permission of their authors. This also applies to products of mass media or documents that are published and accessible on the internet without password or other form of protection. Non-public documents also can be included in text-analytic research, but only if the researcher got access to these documents by asking the author and/or organization for permission. The researcher will take care not to circulate these documents any further and to keep their content, in so far as it is confidential, private–. The standard rules of copyright apply in case of quoting the investigated documents in a research publication (acknowledging its source, permission of the persons involved for including of texts parts over 250 words).

Psychology, Health and Technology

General research of the department of psychology, health and technology (PHT)

Contact: dr. P.M. ten Klooster
Function: EC member
p.m.tenklooster@utwente.nl

EC Authorization: judgement on ethical admissibility by EC or by MEC

The research conducted by PHT focusses on promoting mental health and healthy behaviour, prevention of illness in healthy people and the interaction between the mental and physical health of people with chronic conditions or mild to moderate mental health problems. Standard research conducted by PHT involves questions which are generally not medical in nature and which focus on topics such as positive mental health, quality of life, patient education, patient participation and life-style problems.

However, some of the research does take place in a medical setting and among patients with chronic physical conditions. In addition, the department performs psychological and behavioural interventions amongst different sections of the general population or population groups with specific mental, physical or life-style problems. Research projects which may be subject to the terms of the Netherlands Medical Research Involving Human Subjects Act, such as intervention studies or survey research which may be burdensome for participating patients, are therefore submitted to, and where necessary controlled by, the Medical Ethics Control committees of the centres taking part.

Standard research with human subjects within PGT generally consists of cross-sectional or longitudinal survey research, qualitative research, psychometric testing and (secondary) cost-effectiveness research among adults. If these types of research are conducted in part or entirely with respondents who are minors, the research proposal is always submitted for approval to the entire Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences.

Specific type of standard research: Questionnaire-based research – cross-sectional individual survey without data linkage

Respondents individually fill in answers, in writing or electronically, to questions about themselves, their environment or others in their environment (family, friends etc.) Respondents' behaviour is not observed and no physiological measurements are taken. Participation is voluntary and any compensation offered is proportionate (no more than EUR 10 per hour). Generally, it takes no longer than 1 hour to complete the questionnaire.

The questionnaire is always sent with an explanatory covering letter or email. This shows at least who will be performing the investigation, whether it concerns research that is commissioned and – if this is the case – who the client is, as far as possible the purpose of the investigation, and what happens to the data obtained. If there are questions about emotional or sensitive topics (such as sexual behaviour, delinquent behaviour, etc.) this is indicated in the accompanying letter in such a way that the respondent can estimate in advance whether he or she will contribute to this research. The questions are neutral in all cases (and not judgemental). The respondent may at any time refuse to complete the survey or parts of it.

Anonymity of respondents is safeguarded and respondents are at no time asked to provide information which could serve to identify them. Results are always made anonymous when reporting or in the feedback process. If research is carried out on behalf of a specific client, the results are reported to that client in such a way that the client cannot identify individuals.

Specific type of standard research: Questionnaire-based research – cross-sectional surveys with data linkage and longitudinal surveys

The same conditions apply as to cross-sectional individual surveys except for the condition that respondents are at no time asked to provide information which could serve to identify them. After all, this information is necessary to link the data obtained from the survey with other data. The following links are routinely made:

a. Link to data obtained from other respondents (e.g. family, friends).

b. Link to data obtained earlier from the same respondent (in longitudinal research).

c. A combination of a and b.

If respondents are identifiable then the following applies:

a. Only the researcher has access to the identifiable data.

b. The personal details are destroyed as soon as possible (i.e. as soon as the data linking is complete).

c. Generally, the researcher operates in accordance with privacy legislation.

If data are linked to other sources (e.g. data from other respondents), the respondent is informed in advance. Based on this information the respondent may decide not to complete the survey or refuse permission for the data to be linked. In longitudinal surveys no more than 5 measurements are conducted, with a frequency of no more than 1 per week.

Specific type of standard research: Qualitative research

Commonly used forms of qualitative research by PGT are focus group research and in-depth interviews, usability tests and pre-test research. Standard research is characterized by:

a. Respondents are questioned orally or are observed, either individually or as part of a group.

b. In some cases audio or video recordings of the interview or observed behaviour of subjects are made. Only the researcher and their teams have access to identifiable data, and video and sound recordings will not be shared with third parties without explicit permission of the respondents concerned. Recordings in which subjects are identifiable are carefully managed, and destroyed as soon as the interest of the research permits.

c. Generally, participation takes no longer than 2 hours.

d. There is no physical discomfort, and there are no health and safety risks.

e. Questions frequently asked relate to: attitudes, beliefs and preferences in respect of health-related concepts, health behaviour, risk behaviour, and the use of specific products such as e-health applications and questionnaires.

f. If there are questions about emotional or sensitive topics (such as mental health problems) the researcher must ensure that the questions are posed in such a way that there are no adverse effects on the respondent him or herself or on other people in their environment. The questions are neutral in all cases, and not judgemental.

Specific type of standard research: Psychometric tests and cost-effectiveness tests

Data obtained from the various types of questionnaire-based research are also used for secondary analyses, mainly in respect of psychometric analyses of both existing and newly-developed questionnaires, and cost-effectiveness analyses.

Psychology of Conflict, Risk and Safety

General research of the department of Psychology of Conflict, Risk and Safety

Contact: dr. P.W. de Vries
Function: EC member
p.w.devries@utwente.nl

Authorization EC: assessment of ethical permissibility by EC or by MEC:

The standard research of PCRS poses questions which are not of a medical nature. In general, these questions are concerned with the normal functioning of a human being in different interpersonal and group situations, such as in negotiations and conflicts or when working together under time pressure, and we examine attitudes in relation to social risks. The anonymity of respondents is guaranteed, and the respondent does not fill in any information which reveals or could reveal his or her identity. Results are always made anonymous for reports or feedback.

Specific type of standard research: Questionnaire-based research and qualitative research (field research)   

a. Respondents individually fill in answers, in writing or electronically, to questions about themselves, their environment or others in their environment (friends, partner, fellow students, etc.) and are questioned orally or observed individually or as part of a group.

b. In some cases, audio or video recordings are made of the interview or the behaviour of respondents to be observed. Only the researcher and his/her staff have access to the identifiable data, and audio and video recordings are not made available to third parties without the express written permission of the respondents concerned; recordings in which subjects are identifiable are carefully stored and are destroyed when no longer needed for the purposes of the research.

c. Completing the questionnaire should not take longer than 1 hour; extended interviews (for example with police negotiators) may not last longer than one session (morning, afternoon).

d. No physical discomfort or health and safety risks are involved.

e. Content of frequently asked questions in questionnaires and interviews: attitudes, opinions and preferences with regard to risks such as floods or terrorism, behaviour during conflicts or negotiations, opinions on security issues (e.g. surveillance cameras or metal detector gates) and personality factors. Important with group observations is the team cohesion and the attitude toward the leader.

f. If questions are asked about emotional or sensitive subjects (such as conflicts, bullying, aggression), the researcher is responsible for ensuring that the questions are formulated in such a way that neither the participant nor others in the participant's environment will experience any adverse effects. The questions posed in the research should always be of a neutral nature and therefore not judgemental.

Specific type of standard research: Laboratory research

a. Procedure: Participants are exposed to stimuli (usually video fragments or other visual material) or play a game (for example a negotiation game). Their behaviour in reaction to the stimuli is measured by recording the behaviour and/or by asking participants to fill in questionnaires. The behaviour can be recorded on audio or video. Only the researcher and his/her staff have access to the identifiable data, and audio and video recordings are not made available to third parties; recordings in which subjects are identifiable are carefully stored and are destroyed when no longer needed for the purposes of the research.

b. The real purpose of the research is not always disclosed to the participant prior to the research in order to prevent, among other things, socially desirable responses. The real purpose of the research is however always explained to the participant during the debriefing.

c. Deception is allowed only if participants are fully informed at the end of the research about the manner in which they have been misled during the research. The following forms of deception are often used:

- Suggesting a particular task (for instance solving a puzzle), whilst the actual measurement is really about induced emotions or behaviour and behaviour(al intentions) such as information seeking behaviour or deviant behaviour (e.g. leaving rubbish behind).

- Participants are sometimes given manipulated feedback (false feedback) on personality, abilities or achievements when performing a task, provided that no lasting harmful effects are anticipated; in all cases, subjects are informed about this later on.

- The participants are sometimes told that they are interacting with other subjects or will be interacting with other subjects, whilst this is not actually the case.

- Use is sometimes made of one or more confederates who play a particular role in the interaction with participants who are unaware of this.

d. No physiological measurements are being made as yet but this will take place in the near future.

e. Laboratory research should not take longer than 1 hour.

f. No physical discomfort or health and safety risks are involved.

g. In experiments where conflicts are simulated (such as research on negotiation or conflict management), the experiment will always be terminated if there is any threat of physical or verbal (swearing, shouting) abuse.

 Specific type of standard research: Questionnaire-based research: Cross-sectional surveys with linked data and longitudinal surveys (field research)

The general provisions are fulfilled, except the provision that the respondent does not fill in any information which could reveal his or her identity. After all: this information is necessary in order to link the data from the questionnaire to other data. The following links are standard:

a. Links with administrative data (e.g. with regard to unexplained absence or productivity).

b. Links to data obtained from other respondents (e.g. fellow team members, subordinates, supervisors).

c. Links to data obtained previously from the same respondent (in longitudinal research).

d. A combination of what is stated under a, b and c.

If respondents are identifiable then the following applies:

a. Only the researcher has access to the identifiable data.

b. The personal details are destroyed as soon as this is possible (that is to say, as soon as linking the data is completed).

c. In general, the researcher must operate in accordance with privacy legislation.

If data are linked to other sources (e.g. data from other respondents, administrative data), then the respondent is informed of this prior to linking the data. On the basis of this information, the respondent may refuse to fill in the questionnaire or allow the linking to actually take place. In longitudinal surveys, no more than 5 measurements may take place, and not more than 1 measurement per month.

Public Administration

General research of the department of public administration (PA)

Contact: dr. H. van der Kolk
Function: EC member
h.vanderkolk@utwente.nl

Explanatory notes about the nature of the research

Introduction

Research by staff in the Department of Public Administration and by students supervised by this staff is mostly cross-sectional or longitudinal (non-experimental or quasi-experimental at most) research using …

I. Secondary data (meaning data collected, cleaned and stored by other institutions)

a. macro data (for example, OECD, WHO, IMF, CBS data describing characteristics of companies, municipalities, regions, countries)

b. micro data (for example, existing fully documented survey data including EES, ESS, NKO, containing data about individuals)

II. Primary data collection (and unpublished and/or not fully documented and cleaned datasets from colleagues)

a. macro data using public sources (web sites etc, (legal and policy) documents).

b. macro data using informants (studying municipalities using council clerks, for example, or studying companies or public foundations by interviewing informants)

c. micro data (surveys/interviews among respondents)

more recently some have started to use data that are not easily classified, like twitterdata (in which the units of observation are not individuals, but tweets) and data from the use of VAA’s (in which the respondents are completely anonymous, but could be connected to other individual data, or website behavior using IP addresses) (II.d). 

Although it is not possible to exclude the possibility that using secondary data may be ethically problematic in some cases, it is very unlikely that these types of data may cause unacceptable harm to respondents and informants. In most cases the data are public and the data are anonymized. In addition research using macro data using public sources is also most probably not ethically problematic. All research in the PA department therefore falls in category D.

In the rest of the description of standard research, we will focus on IIb, IIc. and IId only. In none of these types of research medical data are be obtained and in none substantial harm can be caused, as long as data collection is confidential or anonymous. In all these types of research ‘informed consent’ is (mostly implicitly) obtained, because people are asked whether they are willing to answer some questions. It is always made clear they are allowed to refuse, so ethical rules are mainly about safeguarding anonymity of the informants and/or respondents (when required). Standard research in these categories is among adult, competent subjects, that are completely free to participate in the research, and to withdraw from participation whenever they wish and for whatever reason. In standard research there is no deception of respondents (not telling the true purpose of research).

General statements about standard research at PA

The standard research of PA poses questions which are not of a medical nature. In general, the questions are concerned with the normal functioning of the human beings.

Questionnaire-based research and qualitative research studying informants and respondents

Respondents and informants individually fill in answers, in writing or electronically, to questions about themselves, their environment or others in their environment or are questioned orally either individually or as part of a group (focus group). No physiological measurements are taken. The purpose of the research is always disclosed to the participant prior to the research and no deception takes place.

Completing the questionnaire should normally not take longer than 1 hour; interviews and focus groups should not take longer than 2 hours. Participants are always correctly informed about the length of the questionnaire/interview/group discussion.Content of questions in questionnaires and interviews include: attitudes, opinions and preferences; behavior or behavioral intentions; social characteristics of individuals. No physical discomfort or health and safety risks are involved when asking these questions.If questions are asked about emotional or sensitive topics the researcher will ensure that the questions are formulated in such a way that neither the participant nor others in the participant's environment will experience any adverse effects. The questions posed in the research should always be of a neutral nature and therefore not judgmental.Confidentiality is always ensured by the researcher, unless the participant allows to reveal his or her identity in the report. Individuals can never be identified by others than the researcher. In some cases interview data are linked to data from other sources. In this case the researcher makes sure that the only thing the researcher has access to is the identifiable data and the personal details are destroyed as soon as this is possible (that is to say, as soon as linking the data is completed). If data are linked to other sources (e.g. data from other respondents, administrative data), then the respondent is informed of this prior to linking the data. On the basis of this information, the respondent may refuse to fill in the questionnaire or may not allow the linking to actually take place.

Research Methodology, Measurement and Data Analysis

General research of the department of Resarch Methodology, Measurement and Data Analysis (OMD)

Contact: dr. H. van der Kolk
Function: EC member
h.vanderkolk@utwente.nl

Explanatory notes about the nature of the research

The department carries out research of a diverse nature and setup, both with and without subjects, which cannot be described as standard research. Proposed research can correspond to standard research such as is described in other departments.

Science, Technology and Policy Studies

General Research of Science, Technology and Policy Studies (STEPS)

Contact: dr. P. Stegmaier
Function: EC member
p.stegmaier@utwente.nl

Introductory notes about the nature of the research

The standard research of the department focuses on the assessment and governance of innovations and emerging technologies. STәPS considers in particular strategic issues that are multidisciplinary:they involve developments in science, technology, politics and society, as well as interaction between them. Studies conducted within STәPS link analytical and normative perspectives,and consider not only technological innovations but also innovations in governance.

Usually the research is performed by way of the study policy documents, non- or semistandardised interviews, field observation, and by discourse, conceptual or literature analysis.

Research with human subjects is taking place when we investigate empirically how governance, technologies, sciences and research are developed, how existing practices of dealing with a technology or a science, with research and governance are functioning and what technology developers, (potential) users and stakeholders think of these practices and new developments.In these cases, the research is mainly qualitative and explorative. Standard methods used are interviews (oral and by telephone), group interviews, observations, focus groups,stakeholder workshops and text, image or video analysis.

‘Authorization EC’: assessment of ethical permissibility by Ethics Committee (EC) or
by Medical Review Ethics Committee (MEC)

The technologies and practices under investigation are sometimes of a medical nature. However,the goal of the research is usually not medical. If the goal of the research might be medical after all, the MEC/METC (Medical Review Ethics Committee/Medisch Ethische ToetsingsCommissie) will be asked to assess whether the research falls under the scope of
the Wet Medisch Onderzoek (WMO).

Specific considerations and rules

For more detailed account of research ethics, STəPS follows the ‘Statement of Ethical Practice’for the British Sociological Association (March 2002):

www.britsoc.co.uk/media/27107/StatementofEthicalPractice.pdf

Teacher's Programmes

General Research of the Department Teacher's Programmes (ELAN)

Contact: dr. C.L. Poortman
Function: EC member
c.l.poortman@utwente.nl

Explanatory notes about the nature of the research

ELAN’s research program aims to investigate the role of and ways of understanding and promoting scientific citizenship in education and communication settings, in formal as well as informal contexts. The research is not medical by nature. The research environment is the actual school or professional environment, whereby groups of pupils, teachers or other professionals act as participants. School principals and individual teachers are kept informed of the nature and scope of the studies. In consultation with the responsible principals and teachers, the manner in which parents of pupils will be informed of forthcoming experiments is established. Depending on the nature of the study (didactic intervention or survey study), parents are given an outline of the planned research and are given the opportunity to grant permission for their child to participate or not.

Authorization EC: assessment of ethical permissibility by EC or by MEC: The standard research of ELAN/ poses questions are not of a medical nature. In general, the questions are concerned with the normal functioning of children and adults with regard to learning, attitudes, reasoning and decision-making. The questions for teachers and/or school principals could also concern their relationships, with their colleagues. This could include, but is not limited to, the nature/content and frequency of the relationship.

Selection of subjects and participation: The subjects of studies are adults and students in different educational settings (ranging from primary schools to universities). Adult subjects are recruited via direct contact with schools. They participate voluntarily in the research, and in some cases are remunerated for their participation. This is not necessarily the case for research carried out in schools.

With student participants, the school principals and teachers are informed of the nature and scope of the study. The way in which the parents/care takers of the children are informed and their permission requested for the participation of their child in the experiments, is determined in consultation with the responsible school personnel.

Screening of subjects: Specific inclusion or exclusion criteria can be employed for the selection of subjects. These criteria are decided on the basis of the specific need of the study and they are decided on in collaboration with the participating schools or other institutions that contribute to the study.

Accidental discoveries: Information that is accidentally discovered and that is not relevant for the studies undertaken is not disclosed to third parties.

Informed consent and Information brochure: Participants in our studies (or their legal representatives if participants are under 18 years of age) will be informed about the research by an information brochure or orally by the researcher and have an opportunity to ask questions. After receiving the information, they are required to sign an informed consent form. If the research takes place at a school, this procedure can also be carried out via the teachers or principals, who inform the parents/care takers. The informed consent procedure may take on the form of passive approval. Based on the information given, parents/care takers have the opportunity to indicate any objections. If they do not do so before a given date, then they have implicitly given their consent. Sufficient time must be given to the parents/care takers to react.

Specific type of standard research: Didactic/intervention research
In this type of research, participants are confronted with various types of teaching and learning methods or learning materials that may include traditional materials or digital learning environments. Tasks may consist of individual learning assignments or group work with one or more other participants. Different teaching or learning conditions may apply, in which the effects of different types of instruction or support methods are investigated and compared to other conditions or a control condition. If the research is conducted in schools, care is taken that the various instructions do not put participants in one condition at an advantage or disadvantage in their general functioning at school compared to subjects in other conditions. Because the duration of the interventions is generally short, this will usually not be any reason for concern. Pre-tests and post-tests may take the form of knowledge or competency test, questionnaires (e.g., motivation, attitudes, personality) or other specific tests (e.g., intelligence tests, aptitude tests, neuro-psychological tests). In the (collaborative) digital learning environments, a chat system is sometimes used. In some cases audio or video recording are made. The contents of the chats, as well as the thinking out loud protocols and computer log files, audio and video recordings can serve as objects of analysis but will be treated anonymously.

Specific type of standard research: Organizational and professional development in schools.

In this type of research, teacher professional development is studied in the context of teachers’ work environment. This might concern teachers’ daily and natural work context or a longitudinal and collaborative group setting in which interventions are instigated by the researchers in order to bring about certain (learning or teaching) results in the school practice. The work of the teaching professionals is documented. This can be done by direct observations, video and audiotapes or by studying process documentation. Additionally, questionnaires, sociometric questionnaires, and interviews may be used to collect data on participants’ perceptions of the work, their relationships with their colleagues, and/or results of the interventions.

Participants are informed ahead of time, either at the beginning of the intervention or at the time of the data collection activities, about the research purpose and the consequences of the study. They have the option to stop their participation at any point in time.

The data collected are made anonymous. Data obtained from individuals are not communicated to third parties in their original form. Results are only communicated on a group level and with utmost care to ensure that findings will not be able to point to specific participants. Only the researcher involved in the data collection has access to information linking data to specific subjects. Any personal details are destroyed as soon as this is possible.

Technology Management and Supply

General research of the department of Technology Management and Supply (TM/S)

Contact: dr. M. De Visser
Function: EC contact person
m.devisser@utwente.nl

Explanatory notes about the nature of the research

Within the department of Technology Management and Supply (TM/S) a much used research method is setting out questionnaires. These are being sent to people within companies (i.e. purchasers);

Other types of research that are also being done are: observing (inter)personal reactions in experimental settings (i.e. on negotiating) and interviews. Topics of research are:

- Satisfaction of customers;

- Customer relations;

- Innovative behavior.

Within the department TM/S, in general, the outcomes are anonymized. And often they work with dyadic data (of customer and supplier) and only the researcher is aware of the entities of both coupled parties.

Research questions are about professional relationships, and obtaining informed consent of the test subject, is always part of the research process, as well is anonymization of the outcomes.