If your research project involves conducting online surveys with participants, please take note of the following information and be sure to address this issue in your ethics application:

The REB is aware of the use of free on-line survey software for research purposes. The REB does not endorse or approve any particular on-line survey software product or service. However, the REB wishes to advise the Mount Allison University research community that it is extremely important to be aware of any security issues concerning the use of any on-line survey software product, especially those which are housed on servers outside of Canada, such as Survey Monkey. Participants in any research project using this or a similar survey tool should be clearly informed that by clicking on the survey link that they will be entering a survey where the information they provide will be housed on servers outside of Canada and therefore subject to laws of that country (e.g. Patriot Act.)

For your information, Fluid Surveys, a Canadian-based on-line survey software, has recently been acquired by Survey Monkey. Depending on the subject matter of your research and the extent to which you or your participants might be concerned about privacy and security of survey responses, you may wish to seek out non-US based products. Fluid Surveys does say "The servers on which FluidSurveys operate are located in Canada, so your information will be hosted in Canada. Additionally, your information may be processed in and transferred or disclosed to countries in which our affiliates are located and in which our service providers are located or have servers."

At a minimum, you should include the following text (or something similar, depending on which product you are using) in your consent form, your invitation to participate, or in the opening page of the on-line survey:

Please note that the online survey is hosted by "Survey Monkey" which is a web survey company located in the USA. All responses to the survey will be stored and accessed in the USA. This company is subject to U.S. laws, in particular, to the U.S. Patriot Act that allows authorities access to the records of Internet service providers. If you choose to participate in the survey you understand that your responses to the questions will be stored and accessed in the USA. The security and privacy policy for Survey Monkey can be viewed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/