A Proposal to Conduct Research on the Relationship Between Aboriginals Living on Reservations in Alberta and the Public Library System

Abstract | Research Problem | Literature Review | Questions and Definitions | Ethics Review | Data Collection | Implementation Plan | Dissemination Plan | Budget |
Appendix A | Appendix B | Appendix C | Appendix D | Appendix E | Appendix F | Appendix G | Bibliography |

Ethics Application

HERO – Human Ethics Application Form
**please note that only the sections applicable to my study are included**

1.1 Study Identification – EEASJ Application

2.0 Study Title:
A Proposal to Conduct Research on the Relationship Between Aboriginals Living on Reservations in Alberta and the Public Library System

5.0 Name of Principal Investigator (at the University of Alberta, Caritas, or Capital Health):
Kalin Jensen

6.0 Investigator's Supervisor (Required for graduate students, trainees, or researchers from Capital Health, Caritas who do not have an University of Alberta academic appointment):
Dr. Lisa Given

7.0 Type of study:
Graduate Student - In-class project, other projects (incl. CSL - Community Service-Learning)

1.3 Study Funding Information

1.0 Type of Funding:
Grant (external)

2.0 Funding Source (if applicable)

2.2 Write the Sponsor/Agency name(s) in full (you may add multiple funding sources):
The Foundation to Support Kalin Jensen's Research

3.0 Location of funding source (required if study is funded):

1.4 Conflict of Interest

1.0 Are any of the investigators or their immediate family receiving any personal remuneration (including investigator payments and recruitment incentives but excluding trainee remuneration or graduate student stipends) from the funding of this study that is not accounted for in the study budget?

2.0 Do any of investigators or their immediate family have any proprietary interests in the product under study or the outcome of the research including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and licensing agreements?

7.0 Do you have any other relationship, financial or non-financial, that, if not disclosed, could be construed as a conflict of interest?

1.5 Study Locations and Sites

1.0 Specify research locations: Enter all locations where the research will be conducted under this Research Ethics Approval:
Community and cultural centres.

2.1 Study Objectives and Design

1.0 Proposed Start Date:
August 20, 2011

2.0 Proposed Start Date of working with human participants (can be the same as item 1.0):
September 23, 2011

3.0 Anticipated End Date of working with human participants:
October 10, 2011

3.1 Risk Assessment

1.0 After reviewing the Minimal Risk Criteria (inserted from User Help), provide your assessment of the risk classification for this study:
Per the Tri-council Policy Statement, the standard of minimal risk is commonly defined as follows: if potential participants can reasonably be expected to regard the probability and magnitude of possible harms implied by participation in the research to be no greater than those encountered by the subject in those aspects of his or her everyday life that relate to the research, then the research can be regarded as within the range of minimal risk. Above the threshold of minimal risk, the research warrants a higher degree of scrutiny and greater provision for the protection of the interests of prospective participants.
Minimal Risk

2.0 In a scale of 0 to 10 where 0 = No Likelihood, 5 = Moderate Likelihood and 10 = Extreme
Likelihood, put a numerical rating in response to each of the following:
Rate Description of Potential Risks and Discomforts
Psychological or emotional manipulations will cause participants to feel demeaned, embarrassed, worried or upset 0
Participants will feel fatigued or stressed 1
Questions will be upsetting to the respondents 1
Participants will be harmed in any way 0
There will be cultural or social risk – for example, possible loss of status, privacy, and/or reputation 1
There will be physical risk or physiological manipulations, including injury, infection, and possible intervention side-effects or complications 0
The risks will be greater than those encountered by the participants in everyday life 0

3.0 Provide details of short- and long-term risks and discomforts:
There is the possibility that an individual may feel uncomfortable talking about their low-literacy skills or education background. As the interviews are intended to be 1-1.5 hours, the individual may feel fatigued at some point. As much as I will attempt to mitigate cultural stigma against speaking to an outsider by establishing a relationship with the Elders, this is still a possibility.

4.0 Describe how you will manage and minimize risks and discomforts, as well as mitigate harm:
I will remind the individual that they may refuse to answer any question that makes them feel uncomfortable and cease participation in the interview all together without consequence if so desired. I will also keep all judgement out of my tone of voice or wording of the question. I will not probe into any line of questioning that makes the interviewee uncomfortable. I will remind the interviewee that they will not be identified in the research by their real name.

3.2 Benefits Analysis

1.0 Describe any benefits of the proposed research to the participants:
By asking questions about access to information and the public library, the participant may be inspired to look further into these issues and gain such access if it did not already exist.

2.0 Describe the scientific and/or scholarly benefits of the proposed research:
By understanding the perceptions of on-reservation Aboriginals with regard to Public Libraries and information need, improvements can be made to cater to this segment of society that typically has a low-literacy, low-education level, and low-employment rate.

3.0 Describe any benefits of the proposed research to society:
An improvement in the well-being of a segment of society can only benefit society as a whole. The possible improvement of services in public libraries will also be available to all members of the library.

4.0 Benefits/Risks Analysis - describe the relationship of benefits to risk of participation in the research:
The risks of this research are extremely minor and unlikely to occur, whereas the potential benefits of the research may greatly improve their access to information in a public library setting in ways that are meaningful to them.

4.1 Participant Information

1.0 Describe and justify the inclusion criteria for participants:
The inclusion criteria is for the participants to be Aboriginal, live on-reservation, and be between the age of 25-34. The age limit is imposed as it has been established through prior research to be the largest demographic user of the public library. It is not at all necessary for the participants to be users of the public library, but only to be part of that age group.

2.0 Describe and justify the exclusion criteria for participants:
The exclusion criteria are those outside the above parameters as well as those who do not speak and understand basic English as a translator will not be a part of this study.

3.0 Are there any direct recruitment activities for this study?

4.0 Participants
Total number of participants you expect to enroll if applicable):
If this is a multi-site study, how many participants (including controls, if applicable) do you anticipate will be enrolled in the entire study?

5.0 Justification for sample size:
25 individuals are desired as is the maximum desired for a phenomenological study such as this project. The additional five will be used to test the research questions and interview methods.

6.0 If possible, provide expected start and end date of the recruitment/enrollment period:
Expected Start Date: August 20, 2011
Expected End Date: September 10, 2011

4.2 Recruit Potential Participants

1.0 Recruitment

1.1 Will potential participants be recruited through pre-existing relationships with researchers (e.g. employees, students, or patients of research team, acquaintances, own children or family members, etc)?

2.0 Outline any other means by which participants could be identified (eg. response to advertising such as flyers, posters, ads in newspapers, websites, email, listservs; pre-existing records or existing registries; physician or community organization referrals; longitudinal study, etc):
The first method of recruitment will be through recruitment posters. The secondary recruitment method will be through contacts on-reserve who can recommend participants if the first method is not sufficient and/or to balance the gender ratio of the study.

4.3 Recruitment Contact Methods

1.0 How will initial contact be made? Select all that apply:

  • Potential participants will contact researchers
  • Contact will be made through an intermediary

  • 2.0 If contact will be made through an intermediary (including snowball sampling), select one of the following:
  • Intermediary provides information to potential participants who then contact the researchers

  • 3.0 If contact will be made through an intermediary, explain why the intermediary is appropriate and describe what steps will be taken to ensure participation is voluntary:
    An intermediary may be required if the recruitment poster is not sufficient. The intermediary is appropriate as reservations are viewed as a closed society and it is important to have contacts from within in order to more accepted into the community as a researcher. It will be stressed to the contacts that this is a voluntary study and the researcher will remind the participant on multiple occasions of that fact.

    4.0 Provide the locations where participants will be recruited, (i.e. educational institutions, facilities in Capital Health or Caritas, etc):
    Posters in public areas or through person contact with the intermediary.

    4.4 Informed Consent Determination

    1.0 Describe who will provide informed consent for this study:
    All participants will be competent to give informed consent

    2.0 How is consent to be indicated and documented?
    Signed consent form
    Explicit oral consent

    3.0 What assistance will be provided to participants, or those consenting on their behalf, who have special needs (e.g. non-English speakers, visually impaired, etc):
    The only special need anticipated will be those who can speak English, but are illiterate. In this case, the consent form will be read to the participant. If the participant agrees to the content, they will verbally agree on the audio-recording.

    4.0 If at any time a participant wishes to withdraw or not participate in certain aspects of the research, describe the procedures and the last point at which it can be done:
    The participant may withdraw at any point during the interview. This may be done verbally and the interview tape will be erased and all notes destroyed. Once the interview is completed and the participant has left the room, they may not withdraw from the study.

    5.0 Describe the circumstances and limitations of data withdrawal from the study, including the last point at which it can be done:
    Data withdrawal may only be requested while the interview is taking place. Once the participant leaves the room, the data is part of the study. If a person requests the data to be removed, it is not anticipated that the participant will be replaced. It will be noted in the research that an individual removed themselves/their data from the record and that there is one fewer participant in the study than originally desired.

    6.0 Will this study involve an entire group where non-participants are present?

    4.5 Informed Consent Details

    2.0 Oral consent: explain how oral consent will be documented (if applicable)
    If the individual is illiterate, the consent form will be read aloud on the tape recorder and the participant will verbally agree on record.

    4.8 Study Population Categories

    1.0 This study is designed to TARGET or specifically include the following (does not apply to co-incidental or random inclusion). Select all that apply:
    Members of any or all of the groups listed below may participate in this study
    Aboriginal People

    4.9 Aboriginal People – if applicable

    1.0 If you will be obtaining consent from Elders, leaders, or other community representatives, provide details:
    The Elders will be contacted and a meeting will be scheduled to discuss the intention of the study in order to gain their support. If their support is not given, the study will not take place in their community.

    3.0 Provide details if the research is designed to analyze or describe characteristics of the group:
    The research is qualitative and therefore understood to be the opinions of the individuals and not the entire community. However, as the research does hope to get a variety of voices from three different reservations, it is desired that a voice will be given to on-reserve Aboriginals in Alberta as a whole to the extent that is appropriate.

    4.0 Provide information regarding consent, agreements regarding access, ownership and sharing of research data with communities:
    All individuals will give consent and, if so requested, a copy of the research results will be distributed to the leaders of the community.

    5.0 Provide information how final results of the study will be shared with the participating community (eg. via band office, special presentation, deposit in community school, etc)?
    A copy of the results will be presented to the leader of the community as requested and distributed and/or posted as desired by the Elders.

    5.1 Research Methods and Procedures

    1.0 This study will involve the following (select all that apply)
    The list only includes categories that trigger additional page(s) for an online application (and biomedical options have been removed, for LIS 505) .
    Interviews (e.g. in-person, telephone, email, chat rooms, etc)

    4.0 Internet-based research

    4.1 Will you be doing any internet-based research that involves interaction with participants?

    5.7 Interviews, Focus Groups, Surveys and Questionnaires – if applicable

    1.0 Are any of the questions potentially of a sensitive nature?

    2.0 If any data were released, could it reasonably place participants at risk of criminal or civil law suits?

    3.0 Will you be using audio/video recording equipment and/or other capture of sound or images for the study?
    Yes. The interviews will be audio-recorded for the purpose of creating a transcript record of the interview.

    6.1 Data Collection

    1.0 Will the study team know the participants' identity at any stage of the study?

    2.0 Primary/raw data collected will be (check all that apply):
    All personal identifying information removed

    3.0 If identifying information will be removed at some point, when and how will this be done?
    This will be done at the time of transcription. The individuals will only be identified by reservation and a randomly assigned number that does not correspond to the order in which they were interviewed.

    6.3 Data Confidentiality and Privacy

    1.0 How will confidentiality of the data be maintained? Explain the steps you propose to maintain data confidentiality and privacy. (For example, study documents must be kept in a locked filing cabinet and computer files encrypted, etc.)
    The audio-recorded tapes will be kept in a locked filing cabinet and the transcripts will be stored on a password-protected computer.

    4.0 Data Access

    4.1 Will the researcher make raw data that identify individuals available to persons or agencies outside of the research team?

    6.4 Data Storage, Retention, and Disposal

    1.0 Where will the research data be stored? Specify the physical location and how it will be secured to protect confidentiality.
    The audio-recorded tapes will be kept in a locked filing cabinet and the transcripts will be stored on a password-protected computer.

    2.0 Describe what will happen to the data once the study is completed. Indicate your plans for the destruction of the identifiers at the earliest opportunity consistent with the conduct of the research and/or clinical needs:
    The records will be destroyed five years after the publishing of the study.

    3.0 You must keep your data for a minimum of 5 years according to GFC Policy 92.2. How will you provide for data security during this time?
    The locked filing cabinet will only be able to be opened by the researcher and the transcripts will be password protected within a password protected computer.

    7.1 Documentation
    Attach the following documents (as appropriate for your study) to this application, along with any other relevant documents pertaining to your project.

    1.0 Recruitment Materials: See Appendix E

    2.0 Letter of Initial Contact: Not applicable

    3.0 Information Letter: See Appendix C

    4.0 Consent Forms: See Appendix D

    5.0 Assent Forms: Not applicable

    6.0 Questionnaires, Cover Letters, Surveys, Tests, Interview Scripts, etc.: Appendix B

    10.0 Confidentiality Agreement (e.g., for hired transcriptionists): Not applicable
    Appendix B>>

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