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Invitation to Participate in a Research Study

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Hilary St Peter:
Hi, Everyone, 

I'd like thank the moderators for giving me the OK to post this. 

My name is Hilary St. Peter. I'm a technical communication scholar and the lead investigator on a research study to investigate how people use instructions that document potentially dangerous processes (such as working with hazardous materials, making explosives, crafting DIY weapons, etc). There is a lot of public, scholarly and legal talk about potentially dangerous content on the Internet, but the fact is that we don't know very much about how real people use or interact with such information in their everyday lives. 

Citizen chemists have taught me a lot about how people doing science experiments in their own homes consider concerns about risks, hazards and legal issues while also recognizing the importance of curiosity, engagement and a sense of wonder.  So, I am writing to invite you to participate in a brief, voluntary and confidential research interview about potentially dangerous experiments that you have conducted and the resources that you consulted while you worked on the project(s). 

Each interview takes 20-25 minutes. I am conducting most interviews via phone, Skype, Zoom or in person (for interviewees who live in Chicagoland). I can also offer the opportunity to complete an interview via an encrypted channel (Signal), or for a participant to respond to questions in writing if that's more comfortable. Once each interview is complete, I transcribe it and remove any info that could be used to identify a participant. Then, I aggregate those responses with other interviews. I store all study data via FileVault.

If you are interested in participating, please contact me via the messaging app to complete an initial screening, get the IRB-approved consent form and set up a time/channel for an interview. Once complication is that I'm not sure the messaging app will work for me as a new member. I'll check back in a day or two. If I don't hear from anyone, I'll try to work out a way for you to contact me that aligns with forum rules about not posting email addresses.   

Here's more information about me in case anyone wants to Google me before deciding whether or not to participate

Name: Hilary A. Sarat-St. Peter, PhD
Location: Oak Park, IL
Institutional affiliation: Columbia College Chicago
Job when not doing this study: College professor (tenured) 
Link to my publications: https://colum.academia.edu/HilarySaratStPeter
Hobbies: Running, playing an instrument (I play the bass recorder)

Edited to add: I'd also be happy to answer any questions about the study that might be posted to this thread. 

Hilary St Peter:
I'd like to thank those who have generously reached out with offers to participate. Unfortunately, it seems that I can receive messages on this forum, but I can't send them.

Fortunately, my email address is easy to find.  Google "Hilary Sarat-St. Peter" and the first result that comes up is my faculty email address. I check that email address every day (you'll get my sabbatical auto-reply when you email me, but I will still read and respond to your message). 

Are you on sabbatical while doing this study?
I guess what I really want to know -
Do you have a specific date you plan to end the study?

Hilary St Peter:

Yep, I am on sabbatical! Thanks for asking! I come back from sabbatical at the end of Feb, which is a good thing, because my pajama radius is expanding. 

Hilary St Peter:

Regarding end dates: 

The data collection phase of the study will likely last until May 2020. Ideally, I'd like to get to an N of 50 or 60 participants. Then, I'll use grounded theory to analyze the data over the summer. If everything goes well, the endpoint will be Aug 2020. 


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