IRB Permission

Before the MISO Survey may be administered on your campus, you must provide either approval or proof of an exemption from your Institutional Review Board (IRB), a committee that must approve the use of human and animal subjects in research. This is a federal requirement and research that has not received such approval cannot be published. You may not run the MISO survey at your institution without first obtaining IRB approval.  The MISO Team provides this template to help you assemble the necessary information for your IRB.  Your MISO Team liaison can also help you navigate the IRB process at your institution.

When applying for approval or exemption from your IRB, include the following information.



The MISO Survey is a web-based quantitative survey designed to measure how faculty, students, and staff view library and computing services in higher education.  The MISO Survey addresses the following research questions:

  • What services and resources are important to our constituents, and how successfully do our organizations deliver them?
  • How effectively do we communicate with our campus communities about our services and resources?
  • How skilled are our constituents in the use of software and library databases? What additional skills do they wish to learn, and how do they wish to learn?
  • Which software and hardware tools do our constituents use, and which of these tools do they own?
  • What roles do our constituents play on campus?  What demographic factors identify them?
  • What benchmarks can be established for excellent delivery of library and computing services?

Results of this study are presented in publications and at conferences by the MISO management team and participating institutions.



This study consists of a Web-based quantitative survey of faculty, students, and staff. At each participating institution, all faculty and staff will be invited to complete the survey. In addition, the MISO team will randomly select a representative number of full-time enrolled undergraduate students, age 18 and older, for participation in the survey.

The MISO Survey research project is reviewed and approved each year by the Bryn Mawr College IRB, the host institution for the MISO Survey. Copies of the Bryn Mawr College IRB approval may be obtained upon request.

The survey is hosted by the Web based survey provider Qualtrics ( Qualtrics is a private company whose methods of data collection, storage, and adherence to human subjects research protocols have been investigated and been approved by the IRB at Bryn Mawr College. All data is collected using secure connections and is stored in a password protected database. Only the MISO administrators have access to the individual responses collected.

All participants must provide consent before beginning the survey. The consent form is delivered to each potential participant in the email message inviting him/her to participate in the research. The default consent language has been approved by Bryn Mawr College’s IRB. Additional consent language required by a participating institution’s IRB may be pre-pended to the Survey instrument as a click-through page. No compensation will be given to any participants.

Faculty, staff, and students will be assured that the survey data will be confidential, though not necessarily anonymous. Each submitted survey will include the respondent’s identity so that we can send personalized invitations and reminder messages as well as identify patterns among the respondent groups. All data is reported in the aggregate.

The MISO Survey administrators will set up all survey instruments and will analyze the data. Following the close of the data collection period all collected data will reside on a secure server at Bryn Mawr College. The data will only be accessible to MISO Survey administrators. No person associated either with Bryn Mawr College or the MISO Survey will report the data at the individual level.


Risk/Benefit Assessment

There are no risks associated with this study. Data is collected only via survey and responses to the survey will be confidential, though not necessarily anonymous. Participation is voluntary.