Collection of Data over the Internet


The purpose of this webpage is tp provide additional clarity on the MTSU IRB's requirement for allowing data collection over the internet.  Please ensure that the following conditions, but not limited to, are taken care of before you make a request for an online intervention. : 

Basic Conditions for Web-based Surveys

The study must be conducted such that there is minimal risk or lower than minimal risk for the participants.  Any responses that would reveal the identify of the participant would have to be justified adequately.  Sensitive information being collected over the internet is highly discouraged unless the PI can demonstrate that such information can be protected.  The online surveys must follow the two basic requirements listed below:

1. Informed consent: 

The first page of the online study must contain the approved informed consent text.  The IRB gives freedom on the formating as long as the text is legible and important disclosures are adequately highlighted.  The participant must be given a chance to either accept or decline with disctint responses.

2. Age Verification:

Currently all online studies approved by the MTSU IRB are meant only for recruiting adults.  Therefore, an age verification question is mandatory.  The participant has to accept or decline if the subject is under or over 18 years of age.  

 The study can start once the participant has given consent AND verified that the age is 18 or older.  Additional disclosures that are critical, such as, important exclusion/inclusion critieria may be highlgighed through appropriate check boxes.  Compensation must be clearly displayed but there should no unnecessary highlights to unfairly induce a participant.  Requirement for receiving the compensation and any disqualification requriements must be clearly stated and possibly highlighted using appropriate check boxes.  

Survey requirements:

  • Every question must have an option to skip
  • Forced responses are not allowed and approved only under very certain conditions; for instance, a response is needed to further add protection to a participant would be allowed and responses to enhance the research outcome may not be approved.  Even if a forced outcome is permitted, the informed consent must have a clear disclosure of such an intervention.  
  • MTSU requires that surveys are administered via a secure platform such as Qualtrics.  
  •  Compensation - as described in the informed consent section, compensation for participation must be disbersed in accordance with what was disclosed.  There are specific accounting requirements when providing cash or equivalent to the participants.  Please contact the IRB ( before you make final plans.  

Qualtrics Setup

To create a MTSU affiliated Qualtrics account, try the following:
  1. Go to
  2. Log in using your MTSU credentials (faculty or student email address and pipeline password)
  3. Click on the link for Qualtrics
  4. Create a Qualtrics account and you should be good to go.
Visit Qualtrics Access page - CLICK

Online/Email Recruitment

Click here for a template specific for online/email recruitment.