Research terminology can drive you crazy sometimes, but make sure you know the difference between a permission letter and a consent form. Knowing the difference between these terms can save you a lot of time and even trouble.
A permission letter is a document you obtain from a potential research site. You could be seeking permission to use their facilities, contact their members, or access data that is owned by them.
An informed consent form is a document you distribute to potential research participants. This document provides information to the participants about the research study. This form cannot be sent to participants until you have received IRB approval from Capella University.
When seeking a site’s permission, you need to make sure you are obtaining the permission from the appropriate authority. For example, if you intend to use a school in your research study, you must contact the school district’s superintendent for permission. If you plan to use a contact list from a list-server, you will need to obtain permission from the owner/company of the list-server before using the list for research purposes. Although the list may be public, it is a research best practice to obtain permission to use the list.
Do they have an Institutional Review Board?
You will need check if the site has an Institutional Review Board (IRB). If it does, you will need to seek the their approval before submitting your IRB application to Capella University’s IRB. When you are completing the IRB application for Capella, you will need to indicate the existence or non-existence of an IRB at the research sites. If your research study involves another college or university, you can guarantee that the IRB reviewer from Capella will ask for documentation from the site.
Permission letter requirements:
Capella University also has requirements that the researcher must follow when obtaining a permission letter. The letter must state the site’s understanding of the research project, be hand-signed by the appropriate authority, and must be on the site’s letterhead. An e-mail from the site will not be accepted as a valid permission letter.