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Though the researcher may be careful to avoid potentially coercive behavior, the very nature of the relationship with the subject can create the appearance of coercion. For this reason, researchers should be aware of the potential for coercion that exists when a research subject is also a student, employee, colleague, or subordinate of the researcher.
Information about how students and colleagues will be recruited and how coercion will be avoided should be included in the information submitted to the IRB.
Whenever possible, researchers should avoid using their own students if another population of subjects is equally suited to the research question, e.g., another class section not taught by the researcher, recruitment by another instructor, or blinded/coded data collected by an associate so that subjects are not identified to the instructor.
Researchers who include colleagues or subordinates as research subjects must be able to provide a rationale other than convenience for selecting them and must show that the recruitment method does not lead colleagues to think they will be compromised by not participating.
The compromised circumstances and fear of retribution, even subtle cues of compromise, can place colleagues or subordinates in a position of involuntary participation in a research project.
Recruitment through bulletin board advertisements (screened and approved by the IRB), or recruitment through a third party unassociated in a power relationship with the employee are usually the best strategies.