Representations of Asexuality in Fanfiction
The Ohio State University Consent to Participate in Research

Study Title: Representations of Asexuality in Fanfiction
Protocol Number: 2019B0404
Researcher: Sarah Jasmine Stork
Sponsor: None

THIS IS A CONSENT FORM FOR RESEARCH PARTICIPATION. It contains important information about this study and what to expect if you decide to participate.

Please consider the information carefully. Feel free to ask questions before making your decision whether or not to participate.

Asexuality is a fairly new sexual orientation and many people are just now learning about what asexuality is and how it can be experienced. Although still rare, it is becoming more common for asexuality to appear in or be discussed in the media (ex. news, talk shows, books, magazines, TV shows, films) so I am interested in how and where people are learning about asexuality. For this project I am looking specifically at representations of asexuality in fanfiction (fictional stories that take characters from popular books/movies/shows and put them into new experiences). I want to know more about the people reading and writing fanfiction stories with asexual characters, and I hope to learn more about the responses to, and goals for, those stories.

I am asking you to participate in my research project by completing the following 15-30 minute survey. You may be asked in the survey if you would like to participate in a 90 minute recorded interview that will be completed in person (if possible) or via Skype.

In the survey you will be asked demographic questions (ex. age, gender, sexual orientation, state/country of residence) and questions about your knowledge and experiences with fanfiction and asexuality. The information recorded is confidential and your contact information will only by recorded and used to reach you for a follow-up interview if you indicate interest. I will be the only person with access to your survey responses and contact information.

Interviews will be done in person (if possible) or over Skype with me. During the interview I will ask open-ended questions about your knowledge and experiences with fanfiction and asexuality. The recorded interview is confidential, saved in Box, and no one but me will be given access to the recording. I will use the recorded interview to create a transcript and will not be sharing the recording. You can choose to be identified by a pseudonym (fake name), or by your online handle (screen name) if you want your participation and answers to be identifiable in publication.

I will also be blogging about my research, including findings from the surveys and interviews. For the blog, I may share quotes using pseudonyms (fake names) unless the respondent asks for their online handle (screen name) to be used.

The online survey will be available at from April 24 through June 5, and is expected to take participants 15-30 minutes to complete. Follow-up interviews will be scheduled between May 1 and June 12, and will last 90 minutes.

You may leave the study at any time. If you decide to stop participating in the study, there will be no penalty to you, and you will not lose any benefits to which you are otherwise entitled. Your decision will not affect your future relationship with The Ohio State University.

I do not anticipate any risks and in fact expect participants to enjoy and benefit from the opportunity to share their experiences with fanfiction and asexuality.

I am asking you to share your thoughts on and experiences with asexuality and fandom participation. You may choose to stop taking the survey at any time and you may choose to skip questions during the interview if you do not wish to answer them. You do not have to give me a reason for skipping a question in the interview or for refusing to take part in the survey or in an interview.

Please note that I am a member of online asexual and fan communities and may recognize your face or online handle if I interview you. If I recognize you I will let you know so that you can decide whether or not to proceed with the interview.

There are no direct benefits or compensation provided for participating in the survey or being interviewed. Your participation will help improve my understanding and analysis of representations of asexuality in fanfiction and media, and may inform future publications.

We will work to make sure that no one sees your online responses without approval. But, because we are using the Internet, there is a chance that someone could access your online responses without permission. In some cases, this information could be used to identify you.

Also, there may be circumstances where this information must be released. For example, personal information regarding your participation in this study may be disclosed if required by state law. Also, your records may be reviewed by the following groups (as applicable to the research):
• Office for Human Research Protections or other federal, state, or international regulatory agencies;
• The Ohio State University Institutional Review Board or Office of Responsible Research Practices;
• The sponsor, if any, or agency (including the Food and Drug Administration for FDA-regulated research) supporting the study.

Your de-identified information may be used or shared with other researchers without your additional informed consent. If you are interviewed and choose to have your online handle associated with your interview responses, then your handle may be used or shared as well.

You may refuse to participate in this study without penalty or loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled. If you are a student or employee at Ohio State, your decision will not affect your grades or employment status.

If you choose to participate in the study, you may discontinue participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefits. By agreeing to participate, you do not give up any personal legal rights you may have as a participant in this study.

An Institutional Review Board responsible for human subjects research at The Ohio State University reviewed this research project and found it to be acceptable, according to applicable state and federal regulations and University policies designed to protect the rights and welfare of participants in research.

For questions, concerns, or complaints about the study, or you feel you have been harmed as a result of study participation, you may contact Sarah Jasmine Stork at

For questions about your rights as a participant in this study or to discuss other study-related concerns or complaints with someone who is not part of the research team, you may contact the Office of Responsible Research Practices at 1-800-678-6251 or


I have read (or someone has read to me) this page and I am aware that I am being asked to participate in a research study. I have had the opportunity to ask questions and have had them answered to my satisfaction. I voluntarily agree to participate in this study. I am not giving up any legal rights by agreeing to participate.

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