Project Name: The meanings of ‘voting’ for ordinary citizens, their causes and consequences
Project Acronym: DeVOTE
Work package 1: The meanings of voting.

Dear participant,
We would like to invite you to participate in the study mentioned above.

Your participation in this study is voluntary. You can refuse to participate at any time, without having to give a reason, or also withdraw your agreement to participate once the study has already started. There will be no negative consequences for you if you refuse to participate or if you withdraw from this study early.

This kind of study is necessary to gain new, reliable academic research results. Your written consent to participate in the study is an indispensable prerequisite for us to conduct this study. Please take the time to read the following information carefully, and do not hesitate to ask questions.

Please only agree to the processing of your data in this study according to the information provided in this information sheet and consent declaration:

  • if you have fully understood the type and procedure of the study,

  • if you are willing to give your consent to participate, and

  • if you are aware of your rights as a participant in this study.

  1. What is the purpose of this study?

The main purpose of this study is to examine the meaning of voting for ordinary citizens. ‘Meaning’, in this project, refers to both the significance of voting for citizens as well as what is meant by voting for citizens, which may encompass citizen definitions or understandings of voting and/or the motivations they have for voting or not.

  1. What is the procedure of the study?

There are various ways to take part in the DeVOTE project and you can freely decide in how many ways to participate. Each activity is related to a short questionnaire that should take about 5 minutes to complete. The questionnaire will also ask some basic information such as age, gender, education and country where you vote for national elections. Possible activities:

1. You can write down terms and descriptions for your own meanings of voting.

2. You can tell us where your definition of voting comes from.

3. You can search for the many possible definitions that journalists, parties, politicians, stakeholders and so on give to voting, collect them and cite passages from media reports, election campaign statements, party manifestos or any other source that you find useful to give a meaning to voting and elections.

4. You can look up several meanings of voting as listed in our website and categorize them.

Each of these activities will greatly help researchers to achieve the scientific goals of this project. The website of the project provides additional information and instructions for each activity.

Please note that you can only engage in activities 2, 3 and 4 after having participated in activity 1.

Please note that we will NOT send you your individual results.

  1. What are the benefits of participating in the study?

There are no direct benefits from your participation in this study other than a better understanding of behavioral science research and knowledge about how such research is conducted. You might also learn something about yourself from participating in this study. You may have different reasons for wanting to be involved in research and different expectations about it might bring but examples might include: (a) to contribute towards the advancement of science, (b) to do something interesting, and (c) take an active role in research.

  1. What are the possible risks of taking part in this study? Could participants experience any discomfort or other side effects?

Participation in this study involves no risks. The nature of questions is at the level that a person may reasonably be expected to encounter in their everyday life. You can refuse to participate in this study without penalty. If you choose to participate in the study, you may discontinue participation at any time without penalty.

  1. Does participating in the study have any other effects on participants’ lifestyle? What are the obligations resulting from participating?

We expect no effects on participants involved in this study, and there are no obligations during or after the participation in this study.

  1. What should participants do if they experience symptoms or complaints, unwanted side effects and/or injuries?

While participation in this study involves no risks, please report any symptoms or complaints or unwanted side effects or injuries that occur in the course of the study to the study coordinator (see point 10 below).

  1. How will the data collected in this study be used?

Data collection and processing is carried out in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), in particular in accordance with Art. 6 para 1 lit. a. and f. GDPR. Your answers will be used exclusively in aggregated form in publications. Any survey content presented in non-aggregated form (i.e. direct quotations) that are made available through academic publication or other academic outlets will be fully pseudonymized so that you cannot be identified, and care will be taken to ensure that other information in the survey that could identify yourself is not revealed. The data will be pseudonymized by project members to protect your privacy. Access to the non-pseudonymized data will be limited to the researchers involved in this project and SPOTTERON. In addition, the data will be transferred to the Austrian Social Science Data Archive (AUSSDA) who will curate the pseudonymized data and make the data available via its data repository with specific access conditions. These conditions are determined on the basis of the data and level of curation. The data will then be published as Open Access or Scientific Use file, in compliance with GDPR standards to protect your privacy.

  1. Will there be any costs for the participants? Will they receive reimbursement or remuneration?

You will not incur any costs from participating in this study. Participants will not receive any reimbursement or remuneration for participating in this study.

  1. What rights do you have regarding your data?

You have the right to request information about your stored data, its origin, its recipients, and the purpose of its collection at no charge. You can also request that it be corrected, blocked, or deleted during data collection or shortly afterwards. Because the data will be anonymised for the purpose of publication it will no longer possible for you to access or request the erasure of your study data once data collection is completed (because it will no longer be possible to know which data is yours for that point on). You can contact the responsible party at any time using the address given at the end of this statement, if you have further questions about the issue of privacy and data protection. Pursuant to Article 77 GDPR, you have the right to complain to a supervisory authority. In Austria, the supervisory authority is the Data Protection Authority, Barichgasse 40-42, 1030 Vienna, telephone: +43 1 52 152-0, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., website:

  1. Who is the responsible party for processing data?

The party responsible for processing data is:
University of Vienna
Universitätsring 1
1010 Vienna
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  1. Possibility to discuss further questions

The study coordinator will be happy to answer any further questions you might have about the study.

Name of the contact person:

Study coordinator and Principal Investigator:

Name: Carolina Plescia (University of Vienna)
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +43 (0)1 4277 49904

  1. Declaration of consent

I agree to participate in the study: The meanings of ‘voting’ for ordinary citizens, their causes and consequences (DeVOTE).

I have been provided with clear and detailed information about the objectives, significance and scope of the study, as well as about the requirements resulting from my participation in the study. In addition, I have read this information text for participants, especially section 4 (regarding risks, discomforts or side effects) and the declaration of consent. I had enough time to decide whether I would like to participate in this study. At the moment, I have no further questions.

I will follow the instructions that are necessary for conducting this study. However, I reserve the right to end my voluntary participation at any time, without this being to my disadvantage.

I agree that my data collected in this study are processed according to the terms and conditions described in the information sheet for participants.

You may print a copy of this electronic consent form for your records.

Clicking on the “Agree” checkbox/button indicates that you:

  • have fully understood the type and procedure of the study,

  • are willing to give your consent to participate, and

  • aware of your rights as a participant in this study.