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Jewlya,

Good afternoon. I am both an IRB administrator and someone who is using
social network analysis tools in a doctoral dissertation. Our IRB makes
sure that our researchers do not promise confidentiality, only that the
researcher will take measures to keep the data protected.  The most
important element is informing the participants (through the informed
consent process) of the process and risks and taking measures to
minimize those risks.

I think you will be fine once you develop a good informed consent
process for the study.  

Dawn

 

Dawn Underwood
Director
Sponsored Programs
College of Education, Room 120
Indiana State University
Terre Haute, Indiana
Phone: 812-237-3088
Fax: 812-237-3092

>>> Jewlya Lynn <[log in to unmask]> 1/12/2007 9:55 AM >>>
*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****

Hello all,



I am conducting a network analysis on behalf of the staff and chairs of
a
large multi-disciplinary planning group.  The purpose of the analysis
is to
help the leadership of the group to understand how they can help build
relationships and trust between members by strategically grouping them
on
different tasks.



The leadership of the group will need to know not only the general
network
structure, but the specific names of individuals and where they exist
in the
network structure.  My institution requires an IRB process for any type
of
human subjects research and I'm very uncertain that they will approve
a
study that does not promise confidentiality to the participants.  While
the
analysis including their names will not be widely available, it will
be
available to a minimum of three people, the clients.



Has anyone else done an IRB with a similar lack of confidentiality? 
What
sort of informed consent did you use?  How did you convince the IRB to
accept the study?



Thank you for the help!



Jewlya Lynn

Colorado Institute of Public Policy

Colorado State University

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