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OVPRI Human Subject Research Protection Blog

The VCU Human Research Protection Program is dedicated to facilitating ethically and scientifically sound research through robust review of research projects and through effective education and outreach to the VCU research community.

The VCU Human Research Protection Program is pleased to offer two new guidance documents to the research community.

VCU IRB’s guidance to researchers on cold calling recruitment methods offers guidance on using “cold calling” for recruitment efforts. It defines “cold calling,” explains when cold calling should and should not be used, and discusses best practices for this type of recruitment method. (“Cold calling” is defined as “the act of researchers calling potential participants on the phone without providing them with prior information about the study before contact. Prior information could include letters mailed, emails, or other information provided from someone they already have a relationship with.”)

VCU IRB’s guidance to researchers on social media recruitment methods offers guidance on using social media to recruit and engage with research participants. It discusses IRB considerations, including what should be included in an IRB submission that proposes to use social media as a recruitment method. It also addresses other, non-IRB considerations, such as accessibility/ADA compliance, and copyright issues.

Both guidance documents can be located under the “Participant recruitment and screening” accordion on the VCU HRPP’s Policies and Guidance webpage. (Tip: bookmark this page for easy access later!)

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