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The Vistorian Activity Logging Study

This study was certified according to the Informatics Research Ethics Process, RT number 2019/20353. Please take time to read the following information carefully. You should keep this page for your records.

What is the purpose of the study?

The goal of this study is to understand how the Vistorian is used to improve its features and usability.

How are we running the study?

After you agree to participate a Bookmark feature will be added to the Vistorian user interface. You are asked to use the Vistorian in a normal manner. The Vistorian will log your activity anonymously (e.g. the fact that you created a node link diagram or a matrix, which filters were used, or the fact that you uploaded a new file or saved a bookmark). When you save a bookmark you will be able to type personal notes associated with the bookmark, then you will be asked to characterize the type of work you were doing before saving the bookmark by choosing among a small number of categories. You will be able to ask questions at any time during the study, and the Vistorian team will be available to help you use the Vistorian if you encounter problems. To relate logged events to the same user, the Vistorian will create a unique random ID for you in your browser cache, independent from your IP address and other potentially identifiable personal information. No cookies are used and emptying your browser cache will erase your ID.

What are the events’ being logged?

Here is an example of the nature of the events being logged:

What is the Bookmark tool offered by Vistorian?

The bookmark feature allows you to capture and restore the state of your exploration at any time and to leave notes with each bookmark. You will be able to bookmark your visualizations, write your own work notes. You can view your bookmarks based on your preference. You can also contact us by email to book a consultation with our visualization experts to help you with the Vistorian.

Why have I been asked to take part?

Research targets any user of Vistorian whom agrees to help in understanding the users’ interaction with visualizations and features offered by the platform.

Do I have to take part?

No – participation in this study is entirely up to you. You can withdraw from the study at any time, without giving a reason. Your rights will not be affected. If you wish to withdraw, contact the PI. We will stop using your data in any publications or presentations submitted after you have withdrawn consent. However, we will keep copies of your original consent, and of your withdrawal request.

What will happen if I decide to take part?

After you agree to participate you will be asked to fill a small questionnaire, and a Bookmark feature will be added to the Vistorian user interface. You are asked to use the Vistorian in a normal manner. The Vistorian will log your activity (e.g. the fact that you created a node link diagram or a matrix, which filters were used, or the fact that you uploaded a new file or saved a bookmark). When you save a bookmark you will be able to type personal notes associated with the bookmark, then you will be asked to characterize the type of work you were doing before saving the bookmark by choosing among a small number of categories. You will be able to ask questions at any time during the study by emailing the team, and the Vistorian team will be available to help you use the Vistorian if you encounter problems. You can participate in the study by enabling the Bookmarking tool and agreeing to the consent. As long the Bookmark is enabled, interactions and activity will be logged. You can stop the logging process at anytime by disabling the Bookmark tool.

Are there any risks associated with taking part?

There are no significant risks associated with participation.

Are there any benefits associated with taking part?

No. The benefits that may reasonably be expected to result from this study are better human computer interaction techniques as well as better information visualization techniques. This research is not designed to benefit you personally. By taking part of the study you will be able to use the Bookmarking tool to log your notes and progress.

What will happen to the results of this study?

The results of this study may be summarised in published articles, reports and presentations. Quotes or key findings will be anonymized: We will remove any information that could, in our assessment, allow anyone to identify you. With your consent, information can also be used for future research. Your data may be archived for a minimum of 2 years.

Data protection and confidentiality.

Your data will be processed in accordance with Data Protection Law. All information collected about you will be kept strictly confidential. Your data cannot be referred to as no personal data is recorded as its unidentifiable. Your data will only be viewed by the researcher/research team. [Mashael AlKadi, Benjamin Bach, Jean-Daniel Fekete, Catherine Plaisant, Vanesssa Serrano] All electronic data will be stored on a password-protected encrypted computer, on the School of Informatics’ secure file servers, or on the University’s secure encrypted cloud storage services (DataShare, ownCloud, or Sharepoint) and all paper records will be stored in a locked filing cabinet in the PI’s office. Your consent information will be kept separately from your responses in order to minimise risk.

No personal information will be collected or saved within the Log data. The Log data will be saved on a secure server which is accessible only by the Vistorian team. It will not be disclosed to others and the data will be discarded after the study is over. The data you upload and visualize (e.g., the data you are analyzing) remains on your computer and is not transferred anywhere else. No one - including the Vistorian team - can see the data being analysed by you, the visualizations you generate, or the notes saved with the bookmarks unless you decide to share them on your own.
You can stop participating in the study at any time by turning off the bookmark feature, which will stop the logging of activity data and erase the bookmarks. You will be able to participate again, which will re-enable the bookmark tool.

What are my data protection rights?

The University of Edinburgh is a Data Controller for the information you provide. You have the right to access information held about you. Your right of access can be exercised in accordance Data Protection Law. You also have other rights including rights of correction, erasure and objection. For more details, including the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office, please visit www.ico.org.uk. Questions, comments and requests about your personal data can also be sent to the University Data Protection Officer at dpo@ed.ac.uk. For general information about how we use your data, go to: edin.ac/privacy-research

Who can I contact?

If you have any further questions, feedback or suggestions for improvement about the study, please:

Updated information.

If the research project changes in any way, an updated Participant Information Sheet will be made available on https://web.inf.ed.ac.uk/infweb/research/study-updates.