Purpose of the Study
This research is being conducted by Dr. Adam Russell at the University of Maryland, College Park. We are inviting you to participate in this research project because you have subject matter expertise that can be leveraged for forecasting. The purpose of this research project is to elicit forecasts to inform analyses and policy recommendations.
|The procedures involve:
You will create an account with a unique username as part of your registration to participate on the website.
You will be asked to submit a brief intake form. The form will ask you background questions (e.g., your age, level of education, area of degree). The average time to complete the form is less than 5 minutes. There are no minimum requirements to participate. Upon registering, you will receive instructions about how to forecast and will have online access to the questions to be forecasted.
Forecasting involves providing a probability that an event will occur, as well as a rationale for the probability. You will be encouraged to regularly make, and update, your forecasts on the questions of interest to you. You may also have the option to suggest questions for your peer participants to forecast about. Here are examples of forecasting questions like the ones you may be asked:
After making forecasts, you will leave the website. You will be scored based on the accuracy of your forecasts. The results will inform INFER reports and policy recommendations.
The study is entirely online and you can make forecasts at any time while remaining anonymous to other participants through your username.
There will be a Slack/Discord workspace provided for specific participant roles (i.e., Pro Forecasters) to allow these participants to interact and network with one another. Participation is completely optional.
Periodically, participants may be asked to participate in optional questionnaires through the INFER platform to inform and improve the user experience, recruitment and retention of participants.
Potential Risks and Discomforts
There are no known risks from participating in this research study. Although your background data will be stored on a password-protected server, breaches are always possible.
UMD/ARLIS reserves the right to remove you from the study if you post inappropriate content.
You will not receive any direct benefits. There are possible indirect benefits from participating, such as the opportunity to develop your forecasting skills and you may be invited to relevant training and webinars with subject matter experts in forecasting and policy. Overall benefits from this research include understanding the qualities of good forecaster and to better inform reports and policy recommendations.
Any potential loss of confidentiality will be minimized by securing all digital data on password protected servers and network security best practices and keeping access to researchers listed on the IRB. Identifiable data will be retained for 10 years after program closeout.
De-identified data (without identifiable background information) may be added to a publicly accessible database (e.g. an open science database). Data may be re-analyzed as part of future research projects.
If we write a report or article about this research project, your identity will be protected to the maximum extent possible. Your information may be shared with representatives of the University of Maryland, College Park or governmental authorities if you or someone else is in danger or if we are required to do so by law.
By participating as a forecaster (not a Pro Forecaster), you will be eligible for awards. Rewards (such as a $50 Amazon gift certificate) may be awarded to (1) the most accurate forecaster (highest Brier Score), (2) the best informer (most helpful comments, news links, etc) and (3) the most active participant (highest forecast count). Additional awards may be announced over time, and you are encouraged to regularly check the forecasting website to find up-to-date information about current incentives.
Pro Forecasters will be compensated at a monthly rate for dedicating 10 hours per month making forecasts. The monthly rate will be as advertised to you at the time of your recruitment. Pro Forecasters will be recruited from current users on the platform based on their accuracy and participation in forecasting over the past year. You are compensated monthly via direct deposit payments if you achieve the agreed upon commitment in a given month. Additional awards may be announced over time, and you are encouraged to regularly check the forecasting website to find up-to-date information about current incentives.
Forecasters may also participant in forecasting competitions that are held on the platform. Some of these competitions may have a team component. Participating in team forecasting competitions may require you to share information about yourself (name, email address, etc.) to teammates and/or the INFER team. Team forecasting is completely voluntary.
Awards from these competitions will be announced as part of the competition and you are encouraged to regularly check the forecasting website to find information about current incentives.
Your compensation will be provided via Cultivate Labs.
Direct deposit payments require your name and address to receive compensation. You will then be directed to set up accounts through platforms Veem (if US-based) or Gusto (if not US-based), which will collect information such as bank information. This information is not provided to UMD or Cultivate Labs.
If your compensation is a gift card, then it will be distributed via your email address.
You will be responsible for any taxes assessed on the compensation.
If you refuse compensation, you may still participate.
Right to Withdraw and Questions
Your participation in this research is completely voluntary. You may choose not to take part at all. If you decide to participate in this research, you may stop participating at any time. If you decide not to participate in this study or if you stop participating at any time, you will not be penalized or lose any benefits to which you otherwise qualify.
If you decide to stop taking part in the study, if you have questions, concerns, or complaints, or if you need to report an injury related to the research, please contact the investigator:
Dr. Adam Russell
7005 52nd Ave
College Park, MD 20742
If you have questions about your rights as a research participant or wish to report a research-related injury, please contact:
University of Maryland College Park
Institutional Review Board Office
1204 Marie Mount Hall
College Park, Maryland, 20742
E-mail: [email protected]
For more information regarding participant rights, please visit: https://research.umd.edu/irb-research-participants
This research has been reviewed according to the University of Maryland, College Park IRB procedures for research involving human subjects.
Statement of Consent
Your selection of “I consent” below indicates that you are at least 18 years of age; you have read this consent form or have had it read to you; your questions have been answered to your satisfaction and you voluntarily agree to participate in this research study. You may request or print a copy of this consent form. If you agree to participate, select “I consent” below.
Selection of Consent