Perceptions of Technical Communication Professionals


Information and Consent Form

You are being invited to participate in the online survey:

Study Title: Perceptions of Technical Communication Professionals

Researcher: Saul Carliner (Concordia University)  

Researcher’s Contact Information:

Saul Carliner

Phone: 514-848-2424 ext.2038

E-mail: saul.carliner@concordia.ca

Partner for the study: Society for Technical Communication

Before presenting the survey, we want to explain what participating means. Please read this page carefully before deciding if you want to participate or not. If there is anything you do not understand, or if you want more information, please ask the researcher.

A.  PURPOSE

Sponsored by the Society for Technical Communication, the largest professional organization in North America serving people in the field, this study asks the internal and external “clients” of technical communicators about their experiences.

“Clients” of technical communication include engineers, programmers, scientists, marketing specialists, legal staff, information systems professionals, quality assurance professionals, managers of these professionals, and others who provide source material, and review and approve technical information—whether the technical communicators work internally to the same organization as you or externally. 

Technical communicators are the people who prepare help, user and product documentation, tutorials, large proposals, API documents, and other technical information.

The survey asks you about:

  • Your general experiences of working with technical communicators
  • The specific value that technical communicators offer to your organization
  • The qualifications you see as most important for an effective technical communicator
  • Your general perceptions of the profession

The survey takes about 5 to 10 minutes to complete. 

The results of this study will be published in Intercom, the magazine of the STC. More in-depth analyses will be published in academic journals and might also be presented at future events sponsored by STC and other organizations.

B.  PROCEDURES

If you participate, you will be asked to take an online survey. We have designed the survey to be completed in 5 to 10 minutes.

C.  RISKS AND BENEFITS

The results, which are intended to be published in the December 2020 issue of Intercom, the magazine of the Society for Technical Communication, can provide technical communicators with information about the perceptions that their internal and external “clients” hold of them.

With this knowledge, technical communicators can adjust their work processes and approaches in the long-term to better address the needs of their clients.

Should the process of recalling your experiences when completing the survey make you feel anxious or fatigued, either take a break from the return to the survey later or feel free to discontinue the survey. See Section F for information on withdrawing from the survey.

D. CONFIDENTIALITY

The information gathered will be anonymous. That means that it will not be possible to make a link between you and the information you provide.

We will protect the information by storing the data collected in a password protected files.

We might publish the results of the research. However, it will not be possible to identify you in the published results.

F.   CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION

You do not have to participate in this research. It is purely your decision. If you do participate, you can stop at any time by closing your browser.

Should you choose to withdraw and leave less than 70% or more of the survey complete, your data will be automatically removed from the analysis.

Otherwise, if you contact the researcher by email (saul.carliner@concordia.ca) within three days of the closing of the study, the researcher will delete your data. Because the survey does not ask you to provide your name, the researcher will need to ask some information about the time you completed the survey and, if several people responded at the same time, your responses to a couple of questions so your responses can be located and removed.

Otherwise, because we do not collect identifying information and will not be able to identify your response, we will not be able to remove your response from the data set. 

There are no other consequences for not participating or stopping in the middle.

G. AGREEMENT TO PARTICIPATE

If you have questions about the scientific or scholarly aspects of this research, please contact the researcher.

If you have concerns about ethical issues in this research, please contact the Manager, Research Ethics, Concordia University, 514.848.2424 ex. 7481 or oor.ethics@concordia.ca.

A note on privacy
This survey is anonymous.
The record of your survey responses does not contain any identifying information about you, unless a specific survey question explicitly asked for it. If you used an identifying token to access this survey, please rest assured that this token will not be stored together with your responses. It is managed in a separate database and will only be updated to indicate whether you did (or did not) complete this survey. There is no way of matching identification tokens with survey responses.