Information Sheet

Categories Guideline

What will I have to do?

If you decide to take part in the study, you will join a closed online forum compiled of members of democracy oriented non-governmental organisation and scholars and academics from the disciplines of criminology, sociology, history, criminology, politics, international relations, economics etc. I will create anonymous user IDs for all individuals, set up the discussion topics, provide instructions on how to best use these features, and post one question every week, for up to five weeks. Once it is convenient for you to engage in the conversation, all you need to do is log in to your account and participate in the debate.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

Apart from the time required to engage in the conversation, there are no known disadvantages or risks associated with taking part in the study. 

Will my taking part in the study be anonymous?

Yes. Once you have confirmed your participation in the study, I will issue you an anonymised personal ID, which will be used in all further communications you may have with individuals in the focus group or myself.

Will my taking part in the study be kept confidential?

All information you provide will be strictly confidential. Once the focus group ends, all of your data will be downloaded, the original erased, and the copy encrypted and placed in a secure, password-protected electronic environment.

Who will have access to my data?

Only the researcher and the research supervisor will have access to your data. However, it is possible that under special circumstances, and as part of the assessment process, authorised persons from the University of Portsmouth may look at the data collected to check that the study is being carried out correctly.

How long will you keep my data for? 

When the research project is completed, in October 2018, the data will be placed in a secure archive for ten years, after which it will be disposed of in accordance to the UK Data Protection Act 1998. No personal data will be retained for use in future studies, and your details will not be shared with third parties.

What will happen if I don’t want to carry on with the study?

You will be able to withdraw at any point of the focus group, without giving a reason and without any consequences, or five days after the completion of the final stage of the focus group, in October 1st, 2018. If you decide to withdraw, any information you have provided us with will be destroyed immediately and will not be used in the study. If you no longer wish to participate, but agree for the data you have provided thus far to be used in the study, you can either contact me using the Contact page on this site (or by sending an e-mail at and ask for your user account to be deactivated; or simply not log into the account you have been provided with for the purpose of this project.

What if there is a problem?

If you have any questions or queries about taking part in the study, or if you have concerns about any aspect of this study, please contact me or the project supervisor, whose contact details are provided <here>. If you wish to make a complaint concerning this project, the contact details of our Complaints Manager and Officer are also listed below.

Who is organising and funding the research?

This study is organised by a PhD candidate, supervised by three members of the academic staff, and funded by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom. Data provided by participants in the study are held jointly by the research administrator and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Portsmouth.

Who has reviewed the study?

Research in the University of Portsmouth is looked at by independent group of people, called an Ethics Committee, in order to protect your interests and well-being. This study has been reviewed and given a favourable opinion by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Ethics Committee at the University of Portsmouth.

If you’d like to know more about research governance at the University of Portsmouth, please follow this link:

If you’d like to know more about the ethical considerations associated with the project please follow this <link>.

Yours sincerely,

Alexandra M. Uibariu