Human Subjects Protection

Participants are People Too

Volunteer Science is an academic research project involving human subjects and we are held to the highest standards to ensure participants' rights are protected. We do this through several mechanisms.

First, each experiment on Volunteer Science is formally reviewed by a university's Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure it follow the appropriate ethical principles and legal rules. Only after an experiment is explictly approved by a university's IRB Board can the study begin. You can view the IRB approvals for each experiment here.

Second, all members on this project are required to complete a National Institute of Health course on Protecting Human Research Participants. This is to ensure that they are each familiar with the ethical and legal rules and consequences of working with data about human subjects.

Third, we require participants to provide informed consent before they can volunteer their data for researchers. This is to ensure participants have a full understanding of their role in the study as well as their rights while also minimizing the possibility of coercion or undue influene. You can learn more about each experiment we conduct here.