WHO IS DOING THE RESEARCH?

My name is Madiha Anjum, and I am a PhD student at UTS. My principal supervisor is Distinguished Professor Alexey Voinov from School of information system and modelling, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology and my co supervisor is Dr Flavio Pileggi from School of information system and modelling, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology.

WHAT IS THIS RESEARCH ABOUT?

The goal of this research is to develop a real-time, moderated steering environment for better understanding and formalising mental models from online discussions. Users are presented with a topic, question, or problem to debate, on which they can express their opinions/thoughts in the form of comments. Users can also respond or expand on other user’s opinions and/or initiate a new line of discussion. The discussion chain is mined in real-time, using an ensemble of algorithms (including but not limited to concept mining, topic modeling, and sentiment analysis) to extract opinions, keywords, and concepts.

WHY HAVE I BEEN ASKED?

You have been invited to participate in this study because you have shown interest and agree to following conditions:

  • Should be more than 18 years old.

Among the possible risks of our research could be mentioned those that are connected to communication between the participants during the online discussions. In some cases, the polarization of the opinions on some topic within a group can be high, this might lead to the escalation of the conflict among the participants. Therefore, if that's the case, some of the participants might experience inconvenience in voicing their opinions or debating with other participants.

IF I SAY YES, WHAT WILL IT INVOLVE?

  1. You will be register yourself in the discussion forum. You have to provide your name and email address for registration. If you want to stay anonymous in the discussion you can continue as a guest too. In this case you will be given a system generated name.
  2. After registration you can join any discussion based on your interest. You can participate in the discussion by adding comments, by replying to other’s comments or by rating other’s comments.
  3. All the comment will be analysed using natural language processing techniques and you will be able to see analysis results within the discussion forum.

ARE THERE ANY RISKS/INCONVENIENCE?

Yes, there is a very low risk that person may get annoyed with the context of questions. A slight level of conflict is expected during the discussion on any problematic issue within a group of people with different interests and professional backgrounds. But the participants are allowed to leave the discussion at any time without consequences.

DO I HAVE TO SAY YES?

This document is for your information so that you can decide whether you would like to participate in this discussion forum. This is not a consent form. When you will join the discussion forum, you will be reminded of the important points and asked to give your consent to participate in the research.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I SAY NO?

If you decide not to participate, it will not affect your relationship with the researchers or the University of Technology Sydney. If you wish to withdraw from the study once it has started, you can do so at any time without having to give a reason, by leaving the discussion forum or contacting Madiha Anjum madiha.anjum@student.uts.edu.au and your recorded comments will be discarded. We will not collect additional personal information from you.

CONFIDENTIALITY

By signing the consent form you consent to the research team analysing and collecting your comments and personal information for the research project. All this personal information will be treated confidentially with only access to save in university hosted data server. Your information will only be used for the purpose of this research project and it will only be disclosed with your permission, except as required by law. We plan to publish the results derived from this discussion forum analysis to reputed journals (e.g. Environmental modelling and software) in advance scientific knowledge which will be in a form that does not identify you by name.

WHAT IF I HAVE CONCERNS OR A COMPLAINT?

If you have concerns about the research that you think I or my supervisor can help you with, please feel free to contact me onmadiha.anjum@student.uts.edu.au

NOTE:

This study has been approved by the University of Technology Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee [UTS HREC]. If you have any concerns or complaints about any aspect of the conduct of this research, please contact the Ethics Secretariat on ph.: +61 2 9514 2478 or email: Research.Ethics@uts.edu.au], and quote the UTS HREC reference number. Any matter raised will be treated confidentially, investigated and you will be informed of the outcome.