COM SONA Review Board (CSRB)

The following kinds of in-person or online research projects are eligible to be posted on SONA:

  • Surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Interviews
  • Experiments (in-lab or online)
  • Pre-testing of content

Any studies recruiting respondents through the COM SONA system are required to be reviewed/approved by the CSRB prior to being posted online.

This committee ensures that surveys posted to the SONA system: (i) meet expectations concerning research integrity, and (ii) provide quality experiences for student participants being exposed to academic research within COM.

The committee will NOT be required to review the following:

  • Surveys conducted by faculty researchers or students external from class-based projects (as these are to be reviewed by BU IRB or COM RRB as stated above).
  • Questionnaires included within experiments, whether online or in-person (as these studies, in full, are to be reviewed by the BU Charles River Campus IRB)

All research projects are expected to follow the CSRB Standards for Informed Consent and Debriefing.

General Procedure for Survey Review

1) A researcher who wishes to post a survey to SONA will submit the request to, containing:
(i) a link to the researcher’s survey or other research materials, (ii) a Word doc or PDF version of those materials that includes display logic, and

(iii) a brief explanation regarding the purpose and objectives of study including whether the study will be posted on other platforms besides SONA.

Please note: only complete submissions will be sent for review.

2) The chair of the committee, Amanda King, will be responsible for checking this account regularly for new submissions. After confirming the submission was sent to the correct review board and contains all necessary documentation, they will assign to a CSRB member(s), accordingly.

3) The assigned reviewer(s) for a given submission should then provide feedback to the committee chair within 1 week of receiving the message from the chair. Slightly longer turn-around times may be the case at particularly busy periods of the semester (e.g., midterms or finals week). In the event that a slightly longer turn-around is expected, the reviewer is expected to notify the chair as soon as possible. The chair will be responsible for communicating timeline updates to the researcher where necessary.

4) So as to maintain confidentiality of reviewer(s) identity, all communication between applicants and the committee will go through the committee chair. Upon receiving reviewer feedback, the chair will review and communicate feedback and/or approval to applicant.