a. All research done by students in political science classes is conducted in accordance with the "Statement of Principles" contained in the policy statement of the IRB. Subjects are fully informed of the nature of research and have the right to decline to participate or to withdraw from participation at any point in the research process (para. 1. 1; 1.2). All research involving human subjects is formally sponsored by members of the political science department (para. 1.2.3). Research subjects are not compensated with grades, nor do "faculty investigators award academic credit to students for participating as subjects in their own research projects" (para. 1.2.4).
b. Surveys in political science classes at Davidson are "conducted in established or commonly accepted educational settings involving normal educational practices" (para. 2.5. 1). Surveys are distributed in class, through the campus or U.S. mail, or by delivery to dorms or campus houses. Data entry is coordinated and supervised by professors in the department.
c. All surveys or interviews conducted by students in political science classes ensure the anonymity of respondents (para. 2.5.3. a). No permanent record is kept of who participates in surveys, and the surveys are destroyed after data have been recorded. Moreover, the data are recorded in a manner that does not permit identification of subjects.
d. The surveys do not contain information that "could reasonably place the subject at risk of criminal or civil liability or be damaging to the subject's financial standing or employability" (para. 2.5.3.b), nor do the surveys deal "with sensitive aspects of the subject's behavior such as illegal conduct, drug or alcohol use, sexual behavior, etc." (para. 2.5.3.c). If surveys do contain questions of this nature (e.g. the class project survey done by students in POL 319), it will be submitted to the IRB for review (see II below).
e. The subjects of the surveys do not deal with "vulnerable subject population(s)" (para. 2.5.3.d).