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Webinar: (2017-02) Social Media as a Research Recruitment Tool: Ethical Considerations and Guidelines for IRBs

The use of social media as a recruitment tool for research with human subjects has shown signs of effectiveness. The use of this recruitment method is likely to increase due to social media's convenience, affordability, and ubiquity. For example, researchers recently leveraged social media to locate individuals with a rare heart condition and meet enrollment targets in one week for a study they were conducting on the condition (Tweet et al)1. Social media has also shown effectiveness at reaching other populations that have historically been considered hard to access, such as pediatric cancer survivors (Gorman et al.)2 and gay Latino couples3. To date, however, there has been no specific regulatory guidance on social media recruitment. In order to ensure that these potentially invaluable recruitment methods are utilized in ways that safeguard the rights and interests of possible subjects and social media users, IRBs need the right tools to evaluate their ethical and regulatory acceptability. (February 23, 2017)

Using case studies from biomedical and social and behavioral research, this webinar will highlight pertinent ethical and practical considerations when evaluating the use of social media to recruit study subjects. Topics for discussion will include:
  • Federal regulations pertaining to subject recruitment and their applicability to social media contexts
  • Methods, tools, and processes for use by investigators and IRBs when developing social media recruitment techniques and evaluating them from an ethical perspective
  • Key ethical principles of subject privacy and investigator transparency
  • Novel ethical aspects of social media recruitment, including compliance with website "terms of use," recruiting from online networks of research subjects, and ethical implications of online communication from and among study subjects

What will I learn?

After attending this webinar, attendees will be able to:
  • Apply relevant federal regulations to the context of social media recruitment
  • Utilize the appropriate methodology for assessing social media recruitment techniques when reviewing protocols
  • Understand the norms of respect for privacy and investigator transparency, as well as potentially unfamiliar ethical aspects of social media recruitment techniques that may apply in the social media context

Who should attend?

This intermediate-level webinar will benefit IRB staff and members, compliance personnel, institutional officials, researchers, and research staff who work in either biomedical or social and behavioral research that uses social media for study recruitment.

Continuing Education
Webinar participants holding the Certified IRB Professional (CIP®) credential may apply 1.5 continuing education credits towards CIP recertification. Learn More »

Access Interval
Access to purchased content will be available for 90 days after the date of purchase. After 90 days, access to the content will be removed, but users will retain access to any certificates of attendance earned. Content purchased prior to January 1, 2021 will remain available indefinitely. After access has expired, users can purchase an additional 90 days of access.

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