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American Association for Public Opinion Research

Update on the Code Review

by John Loft, Ad Hoc Code Review Committee Chair and Associate Standards Chair
As we shared with members in June, pursuant to a Council motion passed at the May 2015 meeting, an Ad Hoc Committee on Sponsor Disclosure was convened in June 2015. Membership in this committee includes:
John Loft, Chair RTI International
Paul Beatty U.S. Census Bureau
Nancy Belden Belden Russonello Strategies
Paul Braun Braun Research Inc.
John Kennedy Indiana University
Patrick Moynihan U.S. Department of State
John Nienstedt Competitive Edge Research Inc.
Carl Ramirez U.S. Government Accountability Office
Amy Simon Goodwin Simon Strategic Research

The committee had an initial meeting by phone on June 12 to discuss the committee’s charge and the issues, and continued the exchange via email. Members of the committee agreed to consider Section 1.A. Research with Participants and to focus attention on paragraphs 3 and 4. The intention has been to emphasize the right of participants to decline to answer any or all survey questions and the duty of researchers to present information about the research honestly. Some members felt that the language in paragraph 4 of the 2015 Code revision might, in practice, constrain design options, particularly concerning information provided to participants allowing them to decide freely to participate. 

The committee worked together to develop alternative language for paragraphs 3 and 4 in the 2015 Code revision and provided this draft to the Standards Committee for review. Now, the Standards Committee will review, make final decisions, and present any revisions for consideration by the Executive Council. We will keep you updated on next steps!