Study Name: Fitness freaks, ‘young looking’ and love matches: Finding a partner on the world’s largest matchmaking service

Date: 8 September 2014

Researchers: Kabita Chakraborty, York Centre for Asian Research, York University, email:
Emma Dalton, York Centre for Asian Research, York University, email:

Purpose of the Research: The aim of the project is to connect with users of to understand their own aims of being on the site, and the way they are using the site and other multiple features of the site to facilitate marriage and/or dating in a modernizing India.

What You Will Be Asked to Do in the Research:
We will be asking participants to chat with us on the shaadi online chat feature. On chats we will introduce our web page to gain consent, after which chatting can proceed. Chatting will be unstructured, asking participants what they are doing on the site. Chatting times can range from several mintues to hours, depending on the chatters mood online. A maximum of one (1) hours is our limit, unless the chatter wishes to engage in further conversation. We will ask select chat participants if they are interested in participating in a qualitative survey of some questions, via the shaadi online email feature. We will also contact select profiles for participation in the qualitative questions phase of research.

The qualitative questions aim to understand participants’ experience on the site thus far, but also what they are looking for in a partner, and how online matchmaking aids them in their search. As they will be written out, we hope that participants will have time to think and reflect on these questions, rather than spontaniously answer them as they do on chat. Questions include:

1. What kind of connection are you looking for here on the site?
2. What brought you to this online platform,
3. Are you also using, or considering traditional matchmaking services including newspapers and ghatak (match maker)?
4. Do you think the online venue will allow you to find a particular kind of partner which traditional services might not?
5. What are some drawbacks of using this online venue?
6. What are some positive features of using this online venue?
7. Have you been sucessful in communicating with potential matches?
8. What kind of partner are you looking for?
9. How long have you been on the site?
10. What other relationships have you had, if any?
11. Where there any aspects of those relationships you would like to discuss?

Risks and Discomforts: We do not foresee any risks or discomfort from your participation in the research, however you may feel uncomfortable talking about relationships. You can withdraw from the study at any time.

Benefits of the Research and Benefits to You: You will be able to reflect on your experiences on online matrimonials and help us understand the growing role of online matrimonials in a globalizing and modernizing India.

Voluntary Participation: Your participation in the study is completely voluntary and you may choose to stop participating at any time. Your decision not to volunteer will not influence the nature of your relationship with York University either now, or in the future.

Withdrawal from the Study: You can stop participating in the study at any time, for any reason, if you so decide. Your decision to stop participating, or to refuse to answer particular questions, will not affect your relationship with the researchers, York University, or any other group associated with this project. In the event you withdraw from the study, all associated data collected will be immediately destroyed wherever possible.

Confidentiality: All information you supply during the research will be held in confidence and your name will not appear in any report or publication of the research. Your emails and chats to us will be printed and the data will be safely stored in a locked facility in the researcher’s office at York for three (3) years. Only research staff will have access to this information. Confidentiality will be provided to the fullest extent possible by law.

Questions About the Research? If you have questions about the research in general or about your role in the study, please feel free to contact Dr. Kabita Chakraborty either by telephone at 001-416-736-2100 ex. 66915 or email at This research has been reviewed and approved by the Human Participants Review Sub-Committee, York University’s Ethics Review Board and conforms to the standards of the Canadian Tri-Council Research Ethics guidelines. If you have any questions about this process, or about your rights as a participant in the study, please contact the Sr. Manager & Policy Advisor for the Office of Research Ethics, 5th Floor, York Research Tower, York University (telephone 416-736-5914 or e-mail

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