Study Consent & Confidentiality Statement
The purpose of this study is to explore software support for successful social communities, persuasive systems, and sustainability.
To accomplish our research, we need to monitor how people use the Stepgreen interfaces. This includes recording when each user logs in, what pages the user requests, what actions the user commits to or fulfills, what predictions the user is shown, and what social networks the user displays their progress on, among others.
Once you are a registered member of Stepgreen, we ask you to record actions that you plan to take, and tell us when you take them. This data is used to project your financial and CO2 savings, and to make predictions about what actions may appeal to you.
Your action history may be made visible to other users of the Stepgreen site, labeled with your username, location and other information you provide, in accordance with your account settings. Additionally, if you choose to install a plug in such as the FaceBook plugin we provide, visitors to that site may be able to see your action history.
When you use the Stepgreen system, we administer one or more browser cookies. These help identify you and store your preferences. They are not shared with other sites and are not used for advertisements.
We occasionally run contests, conduct interviews or surveys, and/or implement additional features for the purpose of our research. Participation in these "extras" may require us to ask for additional data. This consent statement does not cover such additional activities. A specific consent form will be made clearly available for each activity not covered under this statement, and participation in such activities will be made optional.
You must be 17 years or older to use StepGreen.org.
There may be no personal benefit from your participation, although you may gain knowledge about environmental behavior. In addition, the knowledge received may be of value to humanity
Compensation & Costs
There will be no cost to you if you participate in this study. You may receive a raffle prize for using the website. If you are eligible for a raffle, you will receive email letting you know the prize amount, time period and number of users involved.
By participating in the study, you understand and agree that Carnegie Mellon may be required to disclose your consent form, data and other personally identifiable information as required by law, regulation, subpoena or court order. Otherwise, your confidentiality will be maintained in the following manner:
StepGreen.org does not release e-mail addresses or names to any third parties. Similar to other social networking sites, some account information may be displayed on your profile page and made accessible to other users, in accordance with your account’s settings. Additionally, we may share your demographic data (without your name or e-mail address attached) in research results. Furthermore, we may refer to the actions of individual users (without your name or e-mail address attached) in research results. Aside from the above, information is held as confidential as is practical within our database.
We represent users anonymously as numeric identifiers whenever possible, so that researchers do not know the real identity of the users in the data they are studying. However, we must store a mapping from email addresses to anonymous identifiers for the purpose of authenticating users at login, and resolving account issues such as forgotten passwords.
By participating, you understand and agree that the data and information gathered during this study may be used by Carnegie Mellon and published and/or disclosed by Carnegie Mellon to others outside of Carnegie Mellon.
Your participation is voluntary. You are free to stop your participation at any point. Refusal to participate or withdrawal of your consent or discontinued participation in the study will not result in any penalty or loss of benefits or rights to which you might otherwise be entitled. The Principal Investigator may at his/her discretion remove you from the study for any of a number of reasons. In such an event, you will not suffer any penalty or loss of benefits or rights which you might otherwise be entitled.
Right to Ask Questions & Contact Information
If you have any questions about this study, you should feel free to ask them now or anytime throughout the study by contacting Professor Jennifer Mankoff at Carnegie Mellon. She can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at +1-412-268-1295, or by mail at: Human Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon, 5000 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
If you have questions later, desire additional information, or wish to withdraw your participation please contact the Principle Investigator by mail, phone or e-mail.
If you have questions pertaining to your rights as a research participant; or to report objections to this study, you should contact the Research Regulatory Compliance Office at Carnegie Mellon University. Email: email@example.com . Phone: 412-268-1901 or 412-268-5460.
Regulatory Compliance Administration
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Warner Hall, 4th Floor
+1-412-268-1901 or +1-412-268-5460
Carnegie Mellon University Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved the use of human participants for this study.
CMU IRB #: HS11-079
Approval Date: 21 March 2011
Expiration Date: 8 April 2012
This Study is funded by the National Science Foundation, which is supporting the costs of this research. Neither Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), nor Dr. Mankoff or Fussell will receive any financial benefit based on the results of the Study.