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Author Topic: Research Guidelines  (Read 1030 times)


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Research Guidelines
« on: May 20, 2017, 05:36:41 pm »
The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum has a long history of cooperating with researchers interested in documenting and discussing Pagan topics. We are glad to support learning and understanding of modern Pagan religions and topics. However, over the years, we have had individuals try use the Cauldron to prey on or attempt to manipulate others through inappropriate requests, unethical research, and even spamming and trolling.

As a result, we have specific policies and guidelines for anyone interested in asking research questions on our forum or using the forum to find participants in a research study.

If you are reading and researching for a primary or secondary school project that does not involve interviews or questionnaires, please see the final section for additional information and resources. You do not need to go through the approval process in this post.

Things to know
If you provide all of the requested information in your initial request, we can usually make a decision about your project after a couple of exchanges (usually a few days, if you are prompt about replying.) However, some situations may require more discussion or input from additional staff members and will take longer.

1) The Cauldron's members come from many different paths within the Pagan and magical communities.
If you are looking for responses from a specific perspective or demographic, please make that clear in your initial request. Guidelines for what to include are below. 

2) All research projects must be approved by our staff before you post your questions or ask any member of the board to respond.
(This includes asking through private message (PM), email, or another method). Contacting members to request a response to your questions before you have approval for your research is considered rude and annoying behavior, and may also be reported to your institution.

3) Any studies in which you will use direct quotes from member posts or personal information about members must be opt-in.
Ask how the member would prefer to be identified (their name on the forum, an alternate name, anonymously) as part of this process. If you do not get direct permission from the member, you do not have permission to quote their posts or personal information.

Jenett is the Research Coordinator for the forum. She is a librarian who has worked in both high school and university libraries, and now as a research librarian in a library where she helps researchers ranging from fourth graders to experts in their fields. She normally checks the board once or twice a day, but due to various other demands may be less available at times. If your request for approval or question does not receive an answer after three to five days, please contact the Host (SunflowerP) and Message Board Coordinator (Darkhawk) for assistance.

Please create an account on the board if you have not already done so, and send a private message (PM) to Jenett with the following information:

1) Your name (does not have to be your full legal name)

2) A summary of your project that includes the context and how the research will be used and shared with others.

If your research is for a class, please describe the academic level (high school, undergraduate, graduate, etc.) and subject area of the class.

Will this material be shared with anyone other than your teacher or immediate classmates? If so, describe how or what options you are considering (i.e. posting a summary online, submitting it to an institutional repository, seeking publication.)

Please note if your questions have been reviewed by someone else (your teacher/professor, an institutional review board, or any similar process.)

3) If you are seeking answers from a specific demographic group or religious identity
As noted, the Cauldron has a diverse community of Pagans and magical folk (and people who like chatting with them). We may have suggestions for phrasing that will help our members decide whether they are part of the demographic you are seeking.

4) The list of questions you would like to ask
Please include the complete list of questions you would like to ask of our members. A numbered list is great.

5) Any additional information you would like us to know
This might include additional materials, links to an IRB approval, etc. 

Primary and secondary school researchers
We have a number of introductory resources we are glad to share on request, depending on the focus of your project. Many members will be glad to help with a project by answering questions, but we will not write your paper (or do your basic research) for you. You may find it best to post your question in the Teen Pagans folder or the Paganism for Beginners folder.

Be up front about the fact that your question(s) are for a school paper or project, so that those who respond know they are responding for your paper or project.

Older high school students doing a significant and substantial research project (such as for National History Day or a senior capstone project) should follow the approval process in the section above. If you're not sure, please send a PM to Jenett, who will be glad to clarify.

[Majorly revised 19 Jun 2020 - Sunflower]
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 05:27:53 pm by SunflowerP »
RetroRoleplaying [Blog]: Microlite74/75/78/81, BX Advanced, and Other Old School Tabletop RPGs
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