Legal Terms and Conditions Researchers Must Agree to in Order to Run a Study In ASSISTments

Thank you for proposing a study with ASSISTments. Please email ch@wpi.edu with your structured abstract (please use the IES format- see here {a filled out example is here }).  Please also print, sign, and email this Terms of Use document on your university letterhead.


To Submit Studies for the Test Bed
I agree, as a condition of using ASSISTments Test Bed, to the following terms and conditions meant to ensure good, freely available science. This application I am submitting, if accepted, will eventually be released. If I publish on these results, I will reference the support of the ASSISTments-Testbed by referring the precise URL associated with the data dump ID#  I received from ASSISTments Testbed. This will allow others to see my data, as well as this structured abstract I submitted (knowing full well that the study might keep running).  When my study is published, I will ask the ASSISTments Testbed team to make the abstract  “public to those who have the link” so my reviewers can see my data as well as the materials, that are archived every time I do a data dump, and materials will  available upon my telling the ASSISTments Testbed team I published and want it released. I can do so by click "make public" or 12 months from the date of the proposed data collection listed in my proposal. I understand that everything becomes public eventually. I understand that exceptions for extending the embargo period to ensure I get priority to publish first on my own study, can be  requested on a case by case basis (e.g., if my paper is rejected initially but I need a little more time to resubmit). 

Furthermore  I agree that when I publish based upon this data, I will upload to the  ASSISTments Testbed enough information for a researcher to reproduce all  published numbers in my paper, given the  data dump specified. This could take the form of code or written directions.  If I have a proprietary algorithm for data manipulation I don't want to release openly once my paper is accepted for publication, I understand that I should not be using ASSISTments Testbed, as it requires openness in being able to replicate my results.   In the interests of reducing selective reporting, I agree to report in my paper the total numbers that ASSISTments reports when I downloaded the data for analysis, so to allow other researchers to see what selections used I made of the data.  There are of course. times when selectively focusing on a subjects of the students or questions makes sense, (for instance selecting only students that did not get a 100% on the pretest), but I understand that the ASSISTments Testbed team wants all researchers to be able to see that selection process.  

By "open science" we mean, in the scientific literature and a peer-reviewed journal. While we encourage open publication in venues that give the papers away for free (e.g., EDM), we do not mean to suggest journals like Springer are not open.

Protecting Anonymity: You agree to not try to Identify Students 
While ASSISTments Testbed will will give anonymized data to researchers, sometimes data that was intended to be anonymize, may, in fact, linked back to individuals.  

See this in the NY Times where AOL released web logs that they thought were anonymized.  

Therefore, the term of use of this data is that 1) we require you to not try to do this, 2) that if you discover something that can identify students personally, you both delete it from your computer, and inform us, and 3) and you agree to not give this data to anyone else. Inform Neil Heffernan of WPI of this immediately so he can take steps of make sure data that is supposed to be anonymous is in fact anonymous.  

Since student level data is covered under HIPPA, WPI is required to get your written agreement to not share any personally identifiable information. So if you are able to figure out the name of a teacher, school or students, you agree not to release any personally identifiable information. You also agree to not give that data to anyone else. You may only use this data for the purpose of science.

Non-Commercial Clause.
The only people allowed to use this data are academic researchers defined as a tenure-track faculty member at a non-profit university. While we are open to making exceptions, if you are working for a pro-profit entity you are not allowed to use this data, without a license from WPI.  

To repeat, the terms of use of this data prevent any commercial use of ASSISTments or the ASSISTments-Testbed. This is for academic research studies. If you want to evaluate a commercial product using ASSISTments Testbed I must arrange a license with WPI, that owns all the intellectual propriety including all patents to ASSISTments Test Bed. I will discus you paying a reasonable fee for the use of the tool to help me do my analysis. Please contact WPI's Director of Tech Transfer, Todd Keiller.

University researcher that are funded to do their studies are encouraged to include the maintenance cost of ASSISTments in their grant. Our costs are 10 cents per problem solved, so if you want to do a study, with 100 students and they see 20 problems each, that would be 2000 problems or 100 dollars. You first 20,000 problems solved are for free. We reserve the right to limit access to researchers that are freeloading.  We are also interested in making sure researchers with good ideas can do their studies, regardless of whether they have funding to pay for the maintenance costs of ASSISTments.

Furthermore, I grant WPI and ASSISTments Testbed unlimited, unrestricted use to share my content with anyone, in perpetuity .

Signed by {your name and title}



Please note: Notice about Confidentiality
We recognize researchers want to have their ideas protected until it is published.  We pledge to keep your idea secret until your embargo period lapse. That is, we will not tell others about your idea, and possible let them “scoop” you on your idea.    At the moment, we are small and know all the researchers doing the studies, but as we grow, we hope to formalize the process of reviewing proposals.  Our reviewers that we select will be required to pledge the same way NSF reviewers pledge to not share anything from studies they review.  They will also asked to abide by the same conflict of interest policies as NSF.  At the moment, you just have to take out word for it, that we want to help you use our tool, not steal your cool idea for an experiment.  


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