Policies & Protocols

Before conducting a study at the Communication Research Center, we request that all researchers review our Policies & Protocols. This document contains rules and guidelines concerning human subjects research in the CRC. Human subjects research is any form of research that involves bringing human participants into the CRC as part of a study. This includes experiments, focus groups, surveys, and interviews. Research participants are often Boston University students or staff members, but research may also be conducted with participants who are not BU-affiliated. 

It is each researcher’s individual responsibility to read through these policies and procedures and adhere to their guidelines for managing reservations, respecting the CRC’s facilities, technologies, and services, as well as treating participants with respect and professionalism. Researchers should bear in mind that BU students and staff are often invited to participate in multiple studies and that a negative experience with one study may seriously impact the respondent’s willingness to partake in later research. 

See below for an outline of what is covered in the CRC’s Policies & Protocols:

1. Coordinating Your Research Study

  • STEP 1: Determine need for IRB approval 
  • STEP 2: Complete Request for Research Study Details form 
  • STEP 3: Review Data Storage Policy and plan accordingly 
  • STEP 4: Make room and technology reservations 
    • Setting up your QReserve Account 
    • Making a reservation in QReserve 
  • STEP 5: Begin participant recruitment 
    • Using the SONA System 
    • Timeslots with multiple researchers 
    • Recruiting outside the SONA System 
  • STEP 6: Arrange for after hours data collection as needed

2. Creating and Implementing a Research Protocol

  • Overview
    • Purpose of Protocol 
    • Structure of Protocol 
  • PART 1: Prior to Participant’s Arrival 
  • PART 2: Once Participant Arrives 
  • PART 3: After Study Completion
  • Protocol Checklist

If you have questions about CRC facilities, technologies, and/or services, please refer to the CRC Resource Guide. If you have questions concerning the information detailed in this document, please contact the CRC Staff at crc_admin-l@bu.edu.