Researcher help
 

Support for researchers

Learn how to get started and get the most out of advertising your research study page on Call for Participants.

This page equips you with all you need to know in order to maximise your advertising efforts. We try to answer the most common issues you may have, give you handy step-by-step guides to get you started and provide detailed information on how to create the perfect study page.

Step-by-step guides
Best practice

Get the most out of your research study page

Use appropriate language

Participants can be easily put-off by academic language - if they do not understand what your study is about they are unlikely to take part. Avoid using long academic words like ‘ethnomethodological’ as not many people will understand these terms and you don't have space for a glossary!

Be concise and honest with your participants

Provide them with all the information they need to make an informed decision to participate. Only promote your own study - do not upload content that is not your own.

Use keywords to describe your work

This is how participants and other researchers will find and promote your study. You can add keywords to your study page, but only use words that reflect your study.

Don’t just copy and paste

Pasting unnecessary information or links into your study page may deter potential participants and may confuse other researchers. Make sure the information you upload is relevant and appealing, and is readable (refer to the first point).

Promote your work

It’s not enough for you to just place your study online, you need to actively promote it to relevant audiences. We’ve built some powerful promotional tools into the website to help you reach as many potential participants as possible but you need to use the share buttons for these to be activated. Each share button generates a new tracking link which activates the analytical tools we provide so that you can see how participants are finding your study page. Use this to your advantage to find out where your study page is and isn't getting noticed so you can focus your efforts in these areas.

Resources

Conjoint analysis

Conjoint.ly is a platform for discrete choice experimentation: from experimental design, to data collection, to analysis with outputs covering simple partworth utilities to Hierarchical Bayes matrices. While Conjoint.ly is primarily targeted at marketing researchers, methodology is extendable to healthcare, environmental science, and other disciplines.

Conjoint.ly is free for academic researchers, instructors, and students.

Find out more

Ethical guidelines

What does it mean to conduct ethical research?

Conducting ethical research means being in accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct or practice, especially the standards of the profession. Remember these are just guidelines, you should consult your department, University or employer or obtain independent advice to ensure you are knowledgeable about what ethical issues concern your area of research.

1) Obtain ethical approval

Approved ethical consent can come from an appropriate ethical committee, such as your University, a non-bias group of users or experts, or a council such as the medical research council or NHS. For non-recruiting studies, you are not required to have ethics approval, however we highly recommend that you ensure that your manager, University or supervisors are aware you are promoting your study here.

2) Ensure participants are ‘fully informed’

For a participant to be ‘fully informed’ they need to know everything they can about the study before consenting to take part (if it is appropriate to do so). Provide your participants with information about what the study entails and what data is being collected; they should know where their data is being stored and who will have access to it, how it is being used and when it will be deleted. They should know who they are meeting if they are taking part in a location based study. They should know exactly what is expected of them and what your role is in facilitating the study. They should also have the correct contact information for the researcher and ethical committee.

3) Requirements

You need to list ALL requirements if it is appropriate to do so. Your participants should be fully informed so they can confidently self-select into your study, knowing they will actually be able to take part. If a preliminary examination or test is required before confirming if the participant is eligible for the study then this information should be clearly displayed to all potential participants.

4) Anonymising data

If you are anonymising your participants data then you should provide them with this information when they opt-in to take part and an explanation of how the data is being anonymised should be given. This information does not need to be displayed on your study page.

5) External links and surveys

If you are sending participants to an external link such as a online survey, then you need to explain to the participant where the link will take them. You also need to inform them about the services you are using and if this conflicts with any information your have provided about the storage and sharing of their data. It may be that the service you are using is also retaining the participants data, which may cause concerns for the participants and also compromise the ethical approval received from the ethics committee.

As for this service, we do not retain any information that can be associated with a participant, such as their email address, as this is deleted from our systems unless the participant opts into our mailing list. The participant is provided with the option to opt-in and opt-out and we never share our data with third parties.

6) Data storage

Be clear about where the participants data is being stored. For example, we have chosen to store our data within the European union as the data privacy regulations are currently among the strictest in the world (Such as Germany’s Bundesdatenschutzgesetz or BDSG). We provide all our users with the option to delete their data and accounts and opt-out of all communications. Your participants should be aware of where their data is being stored, for how long it will be stored , and how they can have their data deleted or removed.

7) Contact information & safety

We recommend that you use your university or company email for all correspondence to ensure the participant knows they are contacting someone from a recognised organisation. Ensure the participant is able to contact you or a member of your team. Be sure to put your and your participants safety first. We recommend that you do not give away any personal information or conduct/advertise studies in unsafe environments. Be sure to use services and locations approved and recognised by your University, company or profession when conducting a study. We would also recommend conducting a risk assessment for both you and the participants.

8) Additional information

Your University, company or research council should provide guidelines on best practice. Our guidelines for best practice is a concise collection of advice and information for researchers who are conducting studies. The RCUK public engagement office has provided suggested reading for both researchers and participates. Remember these are just guidelines, you should consult your department, University or employer or obtain independent advice to ensure you are knowledgeable about what ethical issues concern your area of research.

See more resource links

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