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Hi all,

I'm hoping to use respondent-driven sampling (RDS) for a network survey-based project.  However, I'm coming up against an IRB problem.  My institution does not allow any incentives to paid to respondents for helping researchers recruit participants.  For those who don't know much about RDS, the procedure uses a dual reward system: (1) a respondent is rewarded for taking the survey and (2) the respondent is also rewarded for successfully recruiting subsequent participants (successful meaning that the recruit completed the survey as well).

Does anyone have advice for working around this issue? One idea that a colleague of mine suggested was to build in a small follow-up questionnaire to administer to a respondent (post survey completion), perhaps a few questions about the nature of the relationship between the respondent and the people they recruited.  Then, the reward that was originally meant for successful recruitment could be justifiable given for participating in the follow-up survey.

I would appreciate any creative suggestions and/or advice based on past experiences in getting IRB approval for a study using RDS.  Thanks in advance.


Lindsay Young
Doctoral Student
Northwestern University
School of Communication
Media, Technology and Society (MTS)
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