We had a HELL of a time getting this through IRB, as you can imagine. We succeeded with heavy informed consent and anonymity guarantees, plus a more creative move: We quarantine the recordings for three months, during which time a participant can ask to have any portion of his/her recording expunged. We've had no such requests, and after three months enough water has flowed under the bridge that participants tend not to be worried about the content of particular conversations. Also under no circumstances can management have any access to the tapes. This reassured the IRB sufficiently to get approval.
From: Susan Watkins [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2003 3:12 PM
To: Steven Corman
Cc: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: recording human conversation
Have any of you who have done this had IRB/human subjects problems?
On Mon, 28 Apr 2003, Steven Corman wrote:
> Some time ago, I published a paper that described and validated a method for
> detecting face-to-face communication by processing audio signals from
> wireless mikes. See
> Corman, S. R., & Scott, C. R. (1994). A synchronous digital signal
> processing method for detecting face-to-face organizational communication
> behavior. Social Networks, 16, 163-179.
> At the time, the method wasn't really practical, but lately digital
> recorders that run for long periods of time have become available and cheap.
> We've been collecting data in a small organization for about 6 months now
> using such a system. We're looking at the perceived vs. observable
> communication problem and are working on a model dealing with that.
> Best regards,
> Steven R. (Steve) Corman
> Professor, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State
> Visiting Professor, Fakultaet fuer Informatik, University of Karlsruhe
> Vice-chair, Organizational Communication Division, International
> Communication Association