Information and Consent

Autism Project Research Leaders:

Dr. Sharon Roberts

Department of Social Development Studies
Renison University College, University of Waterloo
(519) 884-4404 (Ext. 28676), serobert@uwaterloo.ca

Dr. Kathy Gerbasi
Department of Psychology,
Niagara County Community College
(716) 614-6762, kgerbasi@niagaracc.suny.edu

Dr. Elizabeth Fein
Department of Psychology
Duquesne University
(412) 396-4852, feine@duq.edu

This study is part of a series of broader studies investigating special topics within the furry fandom. The following information is provided so you can decide whether you wish to participate. The topic of the study is autism and our goal is to better understand the lived experience of furries who are on the autism spectrum. Our goal is to learn more about attitudes towards autism and other forms of neurodiversity (Neurodivergent is a non-judgmental term that means having a brain that functions in ways that diverge significantly from the dominant societal standards of “normal”) in the furry fandom, the experiences of people on the autism spectrum within the furry fandom, and things that make it harder and easier for people on the autism spectrum to participate in the furry fandom. You must be at least 18 years of age to participate in this study. 

While this study is focused on autism, you do not have to be formally diagnosed with autism to participate. You are welcome to participate in the survey if you have a formal autism spectrum diagnosis or identify as being on the autism spectrum, if you have a friend or loved one on the autism spectrum, or if you are interested in the topic for other reasons.

There are two sections in the study. The first is basic demographic information, such as sex, age, gender identity, race, etc., Second, we ask questions about autism experiences. We expect that this study could take as little as 15 minutes or much longer depending on the degree of detail you give in your answers.
If you begin or complete the survey and do not want your data to be included, you can indicate these wishes at the end of the survey, and we will manually delete your data. Because there are no personal identifiers, there is no additional opportunity to delete your data after your survey is closed, as we have no way of knowing which data are yours. We will keep our study records for a minimum of seven years. All records will be destroyed according to University of Waterloo policy.
 
These data, which do not contain any identifying information, will be exchanged between researchers and research assistants/apprentices. The shared data will be anonymous, and will have no identifying information. This information will be kept on the researchers/assistants/apprentices password-protected computers. In keeping with university and funding policies that are continuously evolving, anonymous datasets may be posted to a data repository, made available to the public, and/or made available to a researcher/apprentice/student at another institution/journal referee who requests the data. This survey uses Survey Monkey (TM), which is an American Company. When information is transmitted over the Internet, privacy cannot be guaranteed. There is always a risk your responses may be intercepted by a third party (e.g., government agencies, hackers). University of Waterloo researchers will not collect or use internet protocol (IP) addresses or other information which could link your participation to your computer or electronic device without first informing you.
 
To thank you for you participation in any of our studies, you will have a chance to win an Amazon gift card. To be entered in the draw for one (of up to ten) $25 Amazon.com gift cards, please leave your email with us at www.surveymonkey.com/r/fursciencethankyou. The chances of winning will depend on the number of responses, but we aim to give away 1 gift card for every 300 responses to our studies. You may write this link down now, but it will also be provided to you at the end of the survey. In order to be eligible for the gift card draw you will need to submit a valid email address which will NOT be associated with your responses (the link is for a separate survey). We are informing you that for tax purposes, if you are a gift card winner, the amount received is taxable. It is your responsibility to report this amount for income tax purposes.
 
There are no known risks for participating in this study.  It is possible that some questions (e.g., sexual orientation, gender identity, wellbeing) could make you feel some discomfort. Please remember that you are free to skip any and all questions in this study and still submit your name for the draw. Your participation will have the benefit of contributing our understanding of the furry fandom and related anthropomorphic topics, knowledge which will hopefully benefit both the furry community and the field of psychology. Findings from this research will be made available at the International Anthropomorphic Research Project Website at: www.furscience.com/research-findings.
 
This study has been reviewed and received ethics clearance through a University of Waterloo Research Ethics Committee (ORE# 22246). If you have questions for the Committee contact the Office of Research Ethics, at 1-519-888-4567 ext. 36005 or ore-ceo@uwaterloo.ca.
In the future, findings from this research will be made available to the furry community at the International Anthropomorphic Research Project Website at: www.furscience.com/research-findings, which is on our main outreach page, furscience.com.


Please remember, the final decision about participation is yours. You can skip any or all questions for any reason.

Thank you for your interest in our research and for your assistance with this project.

To proceed, please check the box:
 

Question Title

* 1. I am at least 18 years of age and consent to participate. If you submit your survey, it will be assumed that you have done so based on the information you read in this informed consent document. You also understand that you may decline participating by not completing the survey or by indicating at the end of the survey that you would like to have your data deleted. You will be eligible for the prize draw upon completing the email portion of the survey whether or not you complete the survey. You are free to ask any questions related to this study at any time by contacting the investigators. By agreeing to participate in this study, you are not waiving your legal rights or releasing the investigator(s) or involved institution(s) from their legal and professional responsibilities. You may agree to participate and not answer any questions.

If you do not agree to participate, please close your browser and accept our thanks.

Question Title

* 2. Sometimes people are just curious about what we furry researchers do. If that's you, please take a look through, but let us know so we don't include the data in our study. Thanks!

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