Tuesday, April 19, 2016

How to attract research participants

Need more participants?


  1. Given an honest estimation of how long the survey will take to complete. 
  2. Is the survey smartphone and tablet friendly?
  3. Keep any text used to attract participants short and to the point
    1. Is there an easy link to follow to participate in your survey?
    2. Does the survey have a QR Code to help people access the survey on their smartphones?
      1. See http://www.qrstuff.com/ or http://www.qr-code-generator.com/
  4. Offer a prize such as an online voucher. You can do this even if you study is anonymous. Simply, create an extra survey (Survey X). When you main survey ends you offer participants to participate in a prize draw by clicking a link to Survey X. Make sure to explain to the participants that the main survey and Survey X are no linked. Survey X simply asks for an email address and/or a phone number to reach them on and tells them when the draw will happen. 
  5. Here are links to other pages discussing this issue
    1. "10 Easy Ways to Increase Response Rates for your Online Survey"
    2. "How to encourage participants to take your survey"


  1. You can make an experiment sound much more exciting than a survey even add images to your ads (e.g., equipment, figures, participants, program environments).  
  2. If you are keeping your participants for extended periods make sure to compensate them for their time (e.g., direct payment, vouchers) and maybe provide food and drink. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ethics: Suggestions, forms, and templates

The following ethics related information has helped my student in the past

(For Australian university conditions at UNE)

Make sure you differentiate between hard copy and electronic copies of your data is need be.

Registered list of common tests which can be referred to when submitting an HREC application if you are using any of these tests in projects you need only to mention the "Procedure or Test Number" and its "Risk Level". This can speed up your preparation and HREC processing.

Human ethics at UNE has the latest forms and information DO NOT GET CAUGHT WITH AN OUT-OF-DATE FORM.

Here are links to various files (docx). If there is a new form on the HREC website then please use it and copy and paste from the files below as appropriate. 

The process (at least for my students)

  1. Get all the forms and documents (e.g., information sheet, consent) together and write up your HREC application.
  2. Remember to remove the pages that need removing from the HREC form (e.g., first page).
  3. Remember to delete the 'blue' explanation text from the HREC form.
  4. Don't forget to tick E1 or E2 type application.
  5. Don't forget to tick the check list table.
  6. Insert your signature as a pictures into the cell next to your name in the signature table.
  7. Send the whole lot to me (and if relevant any other supervisors) as one Word document or separate Words documents.
  8. You will get the lot back with comments; note how to collaborate on a document.
  9. Once everything is looking good I send the application to Head of School (HoS) and from his/her office the application goes to ethics.
  10. Ethics then gets back to you and other supervisors with comments that we need to address.
  11. Once we have address all concerns by ethics we get the approval number. 
  12. Set to start data gathering.  

Common mistakes

  1. Project title is inconsistent across your different documents.
  2. You have forgotten to indicate if this is an E1 or E2 application (see the HREC main form).
  3. You have left comments and track changes in the documents to go to HREC. No track changes needed unless you are updating the from as per HREC conditions.
  4. You have not checked the checklist boxes on the HREC main form.
  5. Attachments are missing such as text for emails to be sent and ads to be posted.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Publications: Where to find my publications

For a list of my publications go to my profile at Google Scholar

For my publications as a blog go to http://thorsteinssonpublications.blogspot.com.au/

For full text access to my articles try my profile at ResearchGate or Academia.edu

My university profile is at http://www.une.edu.au/staff-profiles/ethorste

Blog posts on health psychology, supervision, and statistics and research method related issues is at http://einarbthorsteinsson.blogspot.com/

I've got a few funny and/or educational videos at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/einarbt

Twitter: https://twitter.com/einarbt