The first step of using Ethica is by creating a Study. Studies are the main building blocks of Ethica, which represent your entire research project. You should not divide your research projects into multiple Ethica studies. Similarly, you cannot use Ethica for your research project without creating one study.

Creating a New Study

You can start a new study by clicking on the New Study button on your dashboard's homepage:

New Study button in Ethica researcher dashboard

This will open the Create a New Study dialog. Click on Let's Go to proceed. On the next page that opens, you can enter the initial information about your study. Below, we will walk you through these steps. On every step, make sure you enter a valid response. When you do, the check-mark next to the box is enabled. You can then press the check-mark button, or the Enter on your keyboard to go to the next question.

Also, you can move between completed steps by clicking on their titles.

Create a New Study form in Ethica researcher dashboard

Study Name

The first step is to provide a name for your study. The name should be short, memorable, and concise. It will be used both on the Ethica website and the Ethica app to refer to this study.

Organization Name

Next, you need to specify the name of the organization that is conducting this study. By default, this will be the organization or university you are affiliated with. Though if you prefer to choose a different name, you can enter it here.

Next, you should enter the content of the participant consent form for your study. This is often the content that is approved by your institution's review board as part of your study's review board application. This content is shown to participants during the registration before they join your study. Participants are expected to read and accept this prior to joining the study. In particular, you need to ensure your consent form covers the followings:

  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • What are the potential risks or benefits to the participants?
  • How data will be handled and who will have access to the data?
  • How can participants contact a member of the research team?
  • What is the withdrawal process?

If you are already planning to meet with each participant in person and ask them to sign a paper form, then the content written here will be more informatory. In this case, you can just add the information you want to be easily accessible to participants.

On the other hand, if you don't plan to get a signed paper copy of the consent form from each participant, you can put the consent form materials in this field, and inform participants that their registration in the study will indicate their implicit consent.

You can format your content using the available controls at the top of the input area.

Participation Period

As participants join in your study, Ethica automatically calculates when their participation should start, and when it should finish. In this step, you specify how Ethica should perform this calculation, by setting the participation start time, end time, and duration. We explain this in more detail in the Participation Period.

Finalize

After adjusting the participation timeline in the last step, you can click on the Start button to create your study. This might take a few seconds, and during this time, Ethica will set up a database for your study.

After this, you will be taken to your study's home page (Basics page) in your Researcher Dashboard.

Basics Page

The Basics page shows a few basic configurations for your study and allows you to modify them as needed:

Basics page for a newly created study in Ethica

On this page, you can see the ID of your study, the name, organization name, consent materials, and participation timeline you chose while creating the study, the number of activities, data sources, and participants already in your study, and some other items.

Study ID

Ethica assigns a unique ID to each study. This allows distinguishing your study from other studies in the Ethica platform. For example in the image above, ID 1302 is assigned to our demo study. Depending on how you want your participants to enroll in your study, you may have to share this study ID with them. You can read more about this in the Enrollment section.

Study Background

The Study Background option allows you to customize the look and feel of the Ethica app and website for your study. The image you select here will be used by the Ethica app and website as the background and theme of your study. For example, below you can see how the app looks like with a custom background image:

The home screen of a study with a custom background image on an Android device
Android
The home screen of a study with a custom background image on an iPhone device
iPhone
The home screen of a study with a custom background image on Ethica website
Web

To change your study background, on the Basics page, click on the Edit button at the top-right of the Study Background section. A dialog will open and let you select an image for the background. An ideal image aspect ratio is 9:16 (a portrait aspect ratio common among smartphones), such as 720 x 1280.

Study Background dialog in Ethica

Access Permission

By default, you are the only person who has administrative access to your study. You can grant this access to other researchers and colleagues registered in Ethica, or revoke their access. To do so:

  1. On the Basics page, scroll down to the Access Permissions section at the bottom of the page.
  2. Click on the Add button at the top-right corner of this section.
  3. In the Add a New Member dialog, enter the email address of the person you want to invite to join the study. Note that the person you are trying to add to the study should already be registered in Ethica as a Researcher.

Ethica Study Access Permissions - Add

  1. Click on the Add to add the new team member.

If you want to remove one or more persons from the team, simply click on the checkbox next to their names. A text indicating the number of selected team members, and a Delete button will appear at the top of the section. Click on the Delete button to revoke their access. This will ask for your confirmation before doing so:

Ethica Study Access Permission Revoke