Research Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about this research project.

How long are the surveys?

Surveys: Everyone in the study is invited to fill out an online survey at the beginning and end of the project. Each survey is expected to take you between 20-45 minutes.

Diary Entries: Everyone will also be invited to participate in a monthly online diary entry. The monthly online diary questions are simple, open-ended questions. For example, a future monthly prompt asks “Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, what actions have you taken to promote your own mental and emotional health? What approaches have been particularly helpful for you? What actions have you taken to help promote the mental/emotional health of others who are important to you?” You can submit a written response, an audio recording, a photograph, and/or a video recording.

Interviews: A smaller group will be invited to do online video interviews with members of the research team. Each interview is estimated to take between 15-45 minutes.


What will you do with the responses you receive?

Your survey responses will be kept private. When we report survey data, we will do so in a way that keeps your information private.

For the monthly diary entries, you can choose whether these are kept confidential (used for research only and your identity is kept private) or made available to the public, such as on the project website or in a public art display. You can also choose whether to attach your real name or a fake name (or no name - "anonymous"), as well as your age, to any of your stories that are publicly shared. You can choose whether to share your story as text, audio, photo, and/or video.


Can I participate anonymously?

Your participation is confidential, but not guaranteed to be anonymous. The researchers may be able to identify you because you must use an e-mail address to participate in the study. For surveys, we will use a unique identifying code rather than your name on study records. We will destroy the key code linking surveys to participants at the end of the study.

For diary entries, you can choose whether to share your story using text, audio, video, and/or photo, some formats of which are more likely to identify you to researchers than others. For each story, you can choose whether to keep that story confidential (for research only) or make it available to the public, such as on the project website or in a public art display. You can also choose whether to attach your real first name or a fake name (or no name - "anonymous"), as well as your age, to any of your stories that are publicly shared. When your stories are publicly shared, it is possible that someone who sees it may be able to identify you, even if you use a fake name or choose not to list a name ("anonymous").


Do you compensate people for their participation?

Thanks to new funding from Georgia Tech, we are now able to offer modest compensation for your monthly diary entries. For each monthly diary response, you will receive $10, payable at the end of the study (September 2021). You can only receive compensation once for each monthly prompt, with a maximum compensation of $120 for responses to all 12 prompts.

Those who are invited and participate in a video interview will be offered $20 per interview.
Total compensation will be mailed as a check (only to US postal addresses in the Southeast US) at the conclusion of the study in September, 2021.


Do I have to participate each month?

Our goal is for you to submit a diary response each month, but we recognize and respect that life events may interfere. Additionally we recognize that some of the diary questions may not resonate with your life experience.


Will my responses be private / Who will see my submitted responses?

We will keep your records private to the extent allowed by law. You will have the choice of whether to keep any individual diary entry private or make available to the public. You may keep all responses private, make all of them public, or choose to share some publicly and keep others private.

Your survey data will be kept private. The following people and entities will have access to the information you provide:

  • Dr. Kristie Seelman, Dr. Elizabeth Mynatt, Paul Baker, Joanna Caldwell, Clint Zeagler, and trained research staff and student research assistants
  • GSU Institutional Review Board
  • Georgia Tech Institutional Review Board
  • Office for Human Research Protection (OHRP)
  • The Public Interest Technology Universities Network

As with any online study, there is a possibility that data sent over the Internet may not be secure. Our surveys will be hosted by the Georgia Tech Institute for People and Technology (directed by one of the project investigators) and will only be accessed by trained members of our research team and professional technology support. You will be assigned a 6-digit code and will be asked to provide this code with each survey or diary entry. We will communicate with you about the project solely using Georgia Tech and Georgia State University protected email services. Data storage is handled by professional IT staff and protected by security safeguards such as the campus firewall, anti-virus, and intrusion prevention/detection cybersecurity. All systems will require unique logins and no shared accounts will be allowed.