FAQ

What is purpose of the study?
What is personal financial information management?
What is the guided tour interview technique?
Who can participate in the study?
How long does the study take to complete?
Where does the guided tour interview take place?
Is there financial compensation for participants?
How will you protect my privacy?
What potential benefits are involved with my participation?
What potential risks are involved with participation?
Has this study received ethical approval from McGill University?
Who will be conducting the guided tour interview?
Who is supervising this study?
How is this study funded?
Can I stop the interview or withdraw at any time?
How do you sign up to participate?
What do I do after I sign up?
I am interested in participating but I am nervous about the researcher coming to my home, what can I do?
Can I participate if I live in the Toronto area?

Answers

What is purpose of the study?
The purpose of this study is to explore the personal recordkeeping practices of young adults and how they manage personal financial information.
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What is personal financial information management?
Personal financial information refers to the collection of receipts, bills, documents, files, notes, and memos that we collect, create, use, and keep as part of making, spending, and saving money. Management refers to the the actions we engage in order to organize, store, find, and dispose of these kinds of records.
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What is the guided tour interview technique?
The guided tour technique is a standard method for studying recordkeeping practices. In the guided tour technique, the researcher will ask the participant to give a tour of their workspace and describe how they organize their documents in that space. Throughout the tour, the researcher will ask questions and seeking verbal clarifications from participants.

Researchers typically make audio recordings of conversations that occur during the guided tour for later transcription and analysis. The researcher will also take photographs of the environment and examples of documents  for later comparison and verification of observations.
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Who can participate in the study?
This study uses both inclusion and exclusion criteria to prescreen potential participants for suitability for the study. Using inclusion and exclusion criteria when sampling helps researchers improve the accuracy of their results.

Inclusion Criteria
In order to qualify for this study, you must answer yes to all of the following statements:

  • I am between 18-25 years of age at the time of research;
  • I reside in Montréal at the time of the research*;
  • I have held part or full-time employment anytime between the ages of 16 and 25 for at least a 6 month period;
  • I had at least one financial expense that I managed independently between the ages of 16 to 25 such as a cellphone account or personal credit card.

Exclusion Criteria
Unfortunately you will not be able to participate in the study at this time if you answer yes to any of the following statements:

  • I am married or co-habitate with a partner**;
  • I am a parent;
  • I was employed for less than six months between the ages of 16 to 25;
  • I did not manage at least one financial expense independently between the ages of 16 to 25;
  • I have filed for bankruptcy between the ages of 16 and 25.

*Young adults who live in the home of their family are eligible to participate provided that they earn an income and are responsible for managing some of their own personal finances.

 **People who co-habitate with a roommate that is not their partner but with whom they share some expenses such as rent or telecommunication services are eligible to participate in the study.
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How long does the study take to complete?
The study takes approximately 1 hour to complete.
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Where does the guided tour interview take place?
The study takes place in the space in which the participant manages their personal financial information. Typically, this is an office or workspace in the participant’s home.
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Is there financial compensation for participants?
Yes, we offer $10.00 (Canadian) in compensation for your time.
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How will you protect my privacy?
Financial figures, such as account balances or debt, will never be collected as part of this study. If this information is revealed to the researcher, it will be treated as confidential and not used in the results of the study.

Protocols are in place to prevent the collection of personally identifying information (such as name, account numbers, balances, etc) that might be unintentionally collected as part of the guided tour.

  • Sticky notes will be provided by the researcher that participants can use to cover any sensitive or personal information that appears on documents presented to the researcher.
  • Participants will have the opportunity to review and approve the use of any photos taken at the end of the guided tour.
  • Participants can skip any questions or parts of the interview.
  • Participants can also decline to allow the researcher to make photographs or audio recordings.
  • Only the researcher and his supervisor will have access to the data and audio recordings.
  • Data and photographs that appear in publications or presentations will be de-identified. Audio recordings will never be used in presentations.

What potential benefits are involved with my participation?

  • Participants may better understand their own financial behaviours and recordkeeping practices as a result of participating in the guided tour interview.
  • Participants may contribute to the creation of improved information resources for young adults aimed at improving financial recordkeeping, which participants can employ in their own practices.
  • Participants may contribute to improved future access to integrated records management tools such as better archiving in personal banking interfaces.

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What potential risks are involved with participation?
The aforementioned research presents low to no risk to participants. Participants may experience:

  • mental fatigue as a result of thinking, remembering, and explaining during the guided-tour task. In the event of fatigue, the participant may pause or take a break at any time.
  • stress or discomfort as a result of being asked to talk about personal finances, spending habits, and money in general. Take comfort in knowing that the researcher is neutral, empathetic, and non-judgmental toward participants’ financial decisions and situations. Also note that there are no right or wrong answers to any of the questions.
  • concerns about privacy and security of personal financial information as a result of participating in a study about financial behaviours and recordkeeping. Please see the How will you protect my privacy? and the I am interested in participating but I am nervous about the researcher coming to my home, what can I do? sections of this FAQ for more information about our protocols.

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Has this study received ethical approval from McGill University?
Yes, this study has been reviewed and approved by the Research Ethics Board (REB) of McGill University. Our approval certificate is available here.
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Who will be conducting the guided tour interview?
Robert Douglas Ferguson, who is a doctoral candidate at the McGill School of Information Studies will be the researcher conducting the interviews.
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Who is supervising this study?
Prof. France Bouthillier, director of the McGill School of Information Studies is supervising this study.
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How is this study funded?
This study is funded by a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship.
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Can I stop the interview or withdraw my participation at any time?
Yes, you can stop the interview and withdraw from the study at any time. If you decide to withdraw, you can also ask the researcher to destroy your data as well.
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How do you sign up to participate?
If you are interested in participating, please contact the researcher here.
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What do I do after I sign up?
After you sign up and schedule a date and time for the guided tour interview, please consult the Participant Preparation Information Sheet and Informed Consent Statement.
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I am interested in participating but I am nervous about the researcher coming to my home, what can I do?
We understand! Prospective participants are welcome to meet the study’s researcher and/or supervisor at the McGill School of Information Studies during regular business hours in order to verify that this a real study prior to deciding whether or not to participant. Please contact the researcher to schedule a meeting time.
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Can I participate if I live in the Toronto area?
Yes! I am occasionally in the Toronto area. If you are from the Toronto area and want to participate, please contact me to schedule a time for the guided tour interview.
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