CESNET-L Counselor Education and Supervision NETwork - Listserv

CESNET-L is being used more and more to launch surveys and to solicit subjects for people doing research in Counselor Education and Supervision. As listowner I am happy to see that researchers see the value of the membership of this list and seek their opinion for various issues. I have thought of a few tips that you should consider before posting your research to CESNET-L

In general, netiquette suggests that you ask the permission of the listowner (Dr. Marty Jencius at mjencius@kent.edu) before you post a survey to a listserv. It is helpful that your request to post include the information that is below in the “In your post:” section along with an anticipated posting schedule.

In your survey/research:

1. How long is your survey? Have someone who is totally unfamiliar with your survey take it and time them. Double it... We often underestimate the amount of time it takes people to take these. In our desire to make our research question broad, we over extend the survey. it says 5-10 minutes, I stop at 5-10 minutes...

2. How many variables do you have and what is the 'power' need of your instrument? If your inventory has so many variables that you need over 3500 respondents to show significance you are in trouble from the start. Begging for more people to take the survey won't help in this case, and just looks desperate.

3. Members of CESNET-L are typically counselor educators, and students who are emerging counselor educators. If the subject pool for your study are left-handed male clients with the diagnosis of trichotillamania who are currently receiving treatment, CESNET-L is not the list for your survey.
Think about the subject pool you are seeking before you post.

4. I have no demographics on the population of membership of CESNET-L so I have nothing for you to compare your sample with to the population of membership. If you need to know the larger population of the group are sampling, CESNET-L is not the place for you.

5. Make sure your demographics permit anonymity, if that is what you are promising. (Asking if you are a Caucasian male, who teaches multicultural counseling, at a doctoral granting institution in Northeast Ohio, pretty much calls ME out.) Also, there is a tendency for folks to ask about demographics that they don't need. All those extra variables you add into you project raises the power of the sample that you will need to show significance and the N that you will need.

6. Avoid begging for subjects for your study. It is considered spam on a listserv and I will drop your ability to post

7. Set up a reasonable schedule
for a second and third (final) request. Consider it similar to mail-out surveys. The Internet makes it easy for folks to "pester until you get enough people" and I am not sure that is a good research methodology. What does it say about the participant you get on the fifth request? Those who violate the third request rule are now subject to removal from the list.

In your post:

1.Include everything that you would include in a cover letter if you were mailing the survey out. This generally means..

a. Your Name
b. Your contact information, both email and direct (phone).
c. Your advisor and their contact information
(This is now a requirement!!! Research advisors please make sure you preview the posting and the posting schedule.)
d. Your institutional affiliation
e. An indication that it has passed the institutional review board
f. Purpose of the study
g. Reason you are doing it (to fulfill the degree requirements for ... )
h. How the results will be used
i. Permission to withdraw at anytime

Make sure that your survey link is correct. Test it in a personal email sent to yourself or someone else before posting it to the list.

(You will be surprised how many people miss this content in their posts and it reflects poorly on the person, the advisor, and the institution.)