Participant Withdrawal from a Survey
At any time while participating in the survey, participants have the option to withdraw from the survey. A Withdraw button will appear at the top right corner of each page.
When a participant withdraws, they have the option to withdraw without the option to receive credit, or with the option to receive credit.
If they choose to withdraw without the option to receive credit, all their survey responses as well as the record of their sign-up will be deleted. Participants are told that this option should be used if they want to later participate in the survey. This scenario would likely be used when a participant starts a survey but realizes they won’t have sufficient time to complete it at the moment, but would like the opportunity to participate later. Notification will not be sent to researchers in this scenario.
If they choose to withdraw with the option to receive credit, then all their survey responses will be deleted, but a record of their sign-up will be kept and be in awaiting action state. The researcher will receive an email about the withdrawal, as well as some basic information about how far along the participant was when they chose to withdraw, both in time spent and number of questions completed. This information is provided in case there is a policy of granting credit for early withdrawals based on time spent or percentage completed. Participants also have the option of including a message that will be sent to the researcher to explain their withdrawal. However, such a message is not required. The researcher should then grant credit to the participant if necessary, by going to the timeslot and finding that sign-up.
Participants are informed that if they are unsure which of the withdrawal options to choose, they should choose the withdraw option that retains their ability to receive credit.
The withdrawal option cannot be removed, as it is there to ensure compliance with research ethics guidelines.