Response concerning “What makes your neighborhood a special place?” (Saksnr. 2011/79)

As part of your project “What makes your neighborhood a special place?”, you have designed a questionnaire which you want NESH to comment on. NESH have the following five recommendations, based on the information received, and in addition to suggestions already communicated by email.

 1. The form asks participants to provide information about age, gender, and (by marking it on a detailed map) domicile.  Put together, this information might provide identification on the level of the individual. In case this specific feature of the project has not been explained to the NSD (Norsk samfunnsvitenskapelig datatjeneste), NESH would ask you to please present them with it.

2. When asking someone to participate in research, one should normally inform them of the purpose of the research. This is information which should be included in the cover letter. In this case, the form can also give the impression that part of the project is carried out with a view to gathering information for local businesses; if this is the case, participants should be informed of this as well.

3. The focus on the iPad one may win by participating is a bit dominant overall. We would recommend that the picture of the iPad is deleted at least from the cover letter.

4. The cover letter’s reference to the National Research Ethical Committees should be deleted. The law in question (personopplysningsloven) is not within the juridical mandate of the National Research Ethical Committees, but that of the NSD (Norsk samfunnsvitenskapelig datatjeneste).

5. Consent to be quoted should not come as a surprise for participants after they have consented to be interviewed. Either, the two should be combined, or, the consent form for the interview should inform the participants that some of them will later be asked whether they will consent to be quoted.