Consent Form content for h2g2 Research Project

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Community: Territoriality, Intimacy and Ownership in Online Spaces
Principal Investigator, Dr. Nathan Rambukkana,
Assistant Professor, Communication Studies

You are invited to participate in a research study. The purpose of this study is to explore how ownership changes affect online communities, using the history of as a case study. We are particularly interested in the attitudes, thoughts and opinions of the h2g2 community, of which the principal investigator is a long time member (Beeblefish).

Participation for this project will be principly in the form of taking part in the conversation thread attached the the h2g2 post inviting information. It may also take the form of less structured conversation in other fora, or through informal unstructured email interviews for anyone who wants to have a more focused conversation.

The timing of participation is unstructured and would typically take less than 5 minutes, unless the participant is interested in continuing to follow the discussion thread and add additional thoughts or responses. Participation may cease at any time.

This project contains no deception and will involve an open ended-inquiry: the number of particants who reply is not decided in advance.

There are no foreseeable risks to participation in this project.

In addition to taking part in the collective reflection on h2g2, something that could be a meaningful community moment, this participation will help further the study of online communities in general.

The participation is on a regular h2g2 forum, but any one-on-one discussion, including the provision of email addresses to receive this consent form, will remain confidential, will only be accessed by me, and will be destroyed at the end of the publication of the project, or 2 YEARS, whichever IS longer [REVISION NUMBER 3].

Please put an “X” beside one of the following about how you would like quotes or passages referring to you handled in the write up of the project:

            Please use my h2g2 handle to refer to me

            Please make up a pseudonym h2g2 handle and use that to refer to me

            Please do not include my name and refer to me generally, e.g.,  “an h2g2 member said that…”

            Please use my real name to refer to me

            Please do not use quotes from or refer to me directly

If you have questions at any time about the study or the procedures, (or you experience adverse effects as a result of participating in this study,) you may contact the researcher,  Nathan Rambukkana , at [email protected] and 1-416-629-7697.  This project has been reviewed and approved by the University Research Ethics Board (which receives funding from the Research Support Fund).  If you feel you have not been treated according to the descriptions in this form, or your rights as a participant in research have been violated during the course of this project, you may contact Dr. Robert Basso, Chair, University Research Ethics Board, Wilfrid Laurier University, (519) 884-0710 x4994 or [email protected]

Your participation in this study is voluntary; you may decline to participate without penalty.  If you decide to participate, you may withdraw from the study at any time without penalty and without loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled.  If you withdraw from the study, every attempt will be made to remove your data from the study, and have it destroyed.  You have the right to omit any question(s)/procedure(s) you choose.

Even after consenting you may withdraw or change your consent options with respect to quoting at any time.

This work will be presented at academic conferences and may be published in an academic journal or as part of a book. I will present a link to the finished product back to project participants via h2g2 and email.

I have read and understand the above information.  I have received a copy of this form.  Replying to this email with your name, h2g2 handle, the words “I agree,” and the date below will be considered equivalent to a signed declaration of consent.

Participant Name:

Participant h2g2 Handle:

Do you agree to the above?:


Dr. Nathan Rambukkana

Date: May 17, 2016

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