Project Title

Understanding Social Media Website Usage

Why is this research being done?

This is a research project being conducted by Jennifer Golbeck at the University of Maryland, College Park. We are inviting you to participate in this research project because you use social media websites like social networks and blogs The purpose of this research project is to understand how these websites are used, including what types of posts people create and how people form friendships.

What will I be asked to do?

You will be asked for your social media username and to answer a standard personality question.

What about confidentiality?

We will do our best to keep your personal information confidential. To help protect your confidentiality (1) your name will not be included on any collected data; (2) an ID will be placed on any collected data; (3) though the use of this ID, the researchers will be able to link your data to your identity; and (4) only the researchers will have access to the ID. Your identifying information will be maintained on a secure server or locked office space separate from any collected data. If we write a report or article about this research project, your identity will be protected to the maximum extent possible. Your information may be shared with representatives of the University of Maryland, College Park or governmental authorities if you or someone else is in danger or if we are required to do so by law. In accordance with legal requirements and/or professional standards, we will disclose to the appropriate individuals and/or authorities information that comes to our attention concerning child abuse or neglect or potential harm to you or others.

What are the risks of this research?

There are no known risks associated with participating in this research project.

What are the benefits of this research?

This research is not designed to help you personally. The results may help the investigator learn more about how people use social media websites. We hope that, in the future, other people might benefit from this study through improved understanding of how friendships are formed and what kind of information people post online.

Do I have to be in this research?

May I stop participating at any time? Your participation in this research is completely voluntary. You may choose not to take part at all. If you decide to participate in this research, you may stop participating at any time. If you decide not to participate in this study or if you stop participating at any time, you will not be penalized or lose any benefits to which you otherwise qualify.

What if I have questions?

This research is being conducted by Jennifer Golbeck, College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. If you have any questions about the research study itself, please contact Jennifer Golbeck at 2117K Hornbake Building, South Wing, College Park, MD 20742, 301-405-7185

If you have questions about your rights as a research subject or wish to report a research-related injury, please contact: Institutional Review Board Office, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, 20742; (e-mail); (telephone) 301-405-0678

This research has been reviewed according to the University of Maryland, College Park IRB procedures for research involving human subjects.

Statement of Age of Subject and Consent

your participation indicates that:
you are at least 18 years of age;,
the research has been explained to you;
your questions have been fully answered; and
you freely and voluntarily choose to participate in this research project.