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ReDSSoCS: Respondent Driven Sampling in Social Computing Systems



ReDSSoCS (Respondent Driven Sampling in Social Computing Systems) is a three-year NSF-funded research project. The project team is led by researchers from the University of Rochester, the Rochester Institute of Technology and Drexel University. This study looks at how online social networks such as Facebook can be used to understand the health of gay and bisexual men.

Approximately 900 gay and bisexual men will take part in brief surveys. At the end of the survey, participants have the chance to privately ask up to three of their friends to participate in the study. Researchers do not at any point know the contact information or identities of invited friends unless invited friend wishes to participate, and information collected from those that participate in the survey is kept confidential.

The ReDSSoCS Team:


Chris Homan, PhD, Principal Investigator, Rochester Institute of Technology
Randall Sell, ScD, Principal Investigator, Drexel University
Vince Silenzio, MD, MPH, Principal Investigator, University of Rochester

Our Snail Mail Address:


LINCS / NetSci Lab, ReDSSoCS Project
300 Crittenden Boulevard, Suite 1-7260
Rochester, New York 14610 U.S.A.


F.A.Q. [under construction]


Q: I’ve been invited to participate in this study, but don’t want to. What do I do?

A: You don’t need to do anything. Your invitation was sent completely in private, and the researchers have no record of your identity or your contact information. We take privacy very seriously. However, if you think the invitation was sent incorrectly, or would like to contact a member of the research team with questions or concerns, please email Dr. Vince Silenzio. You can also reach the study team at the address above.


Q: Actually, I’ve been asked to take part in this study, but know someone else who I think might want to participate. How do I let you know?

A: Actually, you could do one of two things. If you don’t want to participate in the study yourself, you can pass along the message you received to your friend. They can use the link in the message to log in and sign up to take part in the study. But, if you also want to take part in the study, you can log in yourself. Once you are done, the online survey then lets you send a message to your friend to ask them to participate.