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Terms of Use for Researchers

The following Terms of Use apply to the use of the Michigan State University (“MSU”) instance of the Computerized Intervention Authoring System, version 3.0 (CIAS; “CIAS Application” or “Application”) by User/you. By accepting these Terms of Use or using the CIAS Application, you agree that you have received, read, understood, and agree to be bound by the terms and conditions contained herein, and subsequent amendments thereto, as well as the laws, rules, and regulations now existing or which may hereafter be enacted, issued or enforced.

Please read these Terms of Use carefully before using the CIAS Application. These Terms of Use govern your access and use of the CIAS Application and the services available on the Application. CIAS (referred to as “us,” “our,” or “we”) provides the Application at no charge to you and reserves the right to make changes to the Application and to these Terms of Use at any time without prior notice.

1. Intellectual Property Rights

The MSU CIAS Application and the CIAS 3.0 source code are owned by MSU, Wayne State University (“WSU”), and the University of Michigan (together the “Universities”). They have agreed to make the CIAS Application available for research at little to no cost (see Section 8, below, for details). Further, Universities have agreed to make CIAS source code available under the GNU General Public License, Version 3 for research purposes ( If you would like a copy of the source code pursuant to the GNU General Public License, Version 3, it may be downloaded from GitHub (

Interventions developed using either the CIAS Application or the CIAS source code are the intellectual property of their creator (the individual investigator or team). Further, the GNU General Public License Version 3 also allows commercialization of content developed using CIAS Source Code, with conditions specified in detail in the license. However, the MSU CIAS Application is a particular instance of CIAS. In the same way that an author cannot distribute free copies of specific word processing software to enable others to read their novel, behavioral scientists may not use the research-focused MSU CIAS Application for commercial purposes, even if they do so with their own interventions (their intellectual property).

You acknowledge that all rights, title and interest in and to the Application, together with its codes, derivative works, organization, structure, interfaces, any documentation, data, trade names, trademarks, trade secrets, proprietary information or other related materials is, and at all times shall remain Universities’ sole and exclusive property. Except with respect to the right to use the Application, as expressly provided herein, these Terms of Use do not grant you any rights to, or in, patents, copyrights, database rights, trade secrets, trade names, trademarks (whether registered or unregistered) or any other rights or licenses with respect to the Application.

The CIAS name, the Application and all related names, logos, product and service names, designs and slogans are copyright and trademarks belonging to the Universities. You must not use such marks without our prior written permission. All other names, logos, product and service names, designs and slogans on this Application are the trademarks of their respective owners.

2. The Agreement

These Terms of Use are an agreement between you and us. It details our obligations to you and it highlights certain risks on using our services and you must consider such risks carefully as you will be bound by the provision of this Terms of Use through your use of this Application. Upon agreeing to these Terms of Use, we grant you the non-exclusive, non-transferrable right and license to use this program. You must not:

  • Republish material from CIAS

  • Sell, rent or sub-license material from CIAS

  • Reproduce, duplicate or copy material from CIAS

3. Registration


To access certain features on the Application, you may be required to provide personal and/or demographic information as part of the registration process. You agree to provide true, accurate, current and complete information about yourself as prompted by the applicable registration and you are responsible for keeping such information up-to date (this includes your contact information, so that we can reliably contact you). Also, you are to protect the confidentiality of your account password/passcode as we are not liable for any loss or damage arising from your failure to protect your password/passcode or account information.

When you register your account on CIAS you must choose an account type. The four account types are Guest Participant, Registered Participant, Researcher, and Team Administrator. Guest Participant accounts gain access to intervention content via email or public link. Their responses to the intervention content are anonymous and no identifiable information is saved in the system. Registered Participant accounts must create a CIAS account, by providing their first and last name, and email address in order to gain access to an intervention. Within their account, Registered Participants will have the ability to view all interventions they are participating in- including all upcoming sessions, as well as reports containing a summary of their responses for all previous sessions completed. Researcher accounts can create, edit, and manage (invite, remove, and deactivate) participants for their own interventions. Team Administrator accounts have the ability to manage (invite, remove, and deactivate) researcher and participant accounts on their team. Team Administer accounts can also create, view, edit, and download data files for all interventions created within their team.

When you register an account on CIAS we will ask you for the following information:

a. Your Name
b. Your institution
c. Email address
d. Role
e. Research interests
f. How you learned about CIAS
g. The expected size of your study team
h. Prior experience with CIAS or other digital intervention development
i. Which CIAS features you plan to use
j. Verification that CIAS will be used for non-commercial research only
k. Details about the project you will be using CIAS for
l. The estimated sample size of your study
m. Whether your project will use text messaging, and if so the estimated number of text messages to be sent to each participant (0, 1-10, etc.)
n. If this work is supported by a specific grant award and details of the grant, if any
o. If you will be using CIAS for wireframing or prototyping
p. If you are hoping to use CIAS to collect Protected Health Information
q. Any other information we deem to be required to set up your account

Please note that Protected Health Information (PHI) may not be entered into the CIAS Application under any circumstances without our express permission. If your project will use CIAS to collect and store PHI, you may do so only by retrieving the CIAS 3.0 code from and installing an instance of CIAS on servers belonging to your institution or the covered entity in question. If you require assistance in this process, we can connect you to our software developers (a separate company unrelated to MSU), who may charge you for any assistance needed by you or your IT team. You should also check with your institution for guidance on its internal processes for collecting and storing PHI.

4. User Representation


You shall not alter copy, modify or tamper with the Application as provided. You further agree not to collect email addresses, phone numbers, or other contact information of Users from the Application by electronic or other means for the purposes of sending unsolicited emails, text messages, or other unsolicited communications. Additionally, you agree not to use automated scripts to collect information from the Application or for any other purpose. You further agree that you may not use the Application in any unlawful manner or in any other manner that could impact the Application. In addition, you agree not to use the Application:

  1. in any manner that could damage, disable, overburden, or impair the Application or servers or networks connected to the Application,

  2. in any manner that could interfere with any other party’s use and enjoyment of the Application or servers or networks connected to the Application.

  3. to upload, post, transmit, share or otherwise make available any material that contains software viruses or any other malicious or tracking computer code, files or programs designed to track, interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment or any information that infringes the intellectual property rights of others;

  4. to intimidate or harass another User;

  5. to upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make available content that would constitute, encourage or provide instructions for a criminal offense, violate the rights of any party, or that would otherwise create liability or violate any state, national or international law;

  6. to use or attempt to use another’s account, service or system without authorization from that person and from us or create a false identity on the Application.

5. Age Restriction

In order to register for our services on the Application, you represent and warrant that: You either possess corporate legal personality, are at least 18 years of age and are legally able to enter into a binding contract, or are using this software with the permission of a parent or legal guardian.

6. Assignment

You may not transfer or assign any rights or obligations you have under this Terms of Use without our prior written consent in its sole and absolute discretion. We reserve the right to transfer or assign this Terms of Use or any right or obligation under this Terms of Use at any time.

7. Communications and Notices to you

By accepting these Terms of Use, you expressly consent to receive emails from us regarding program elements that you have not completed. You agree that we may also send you text messages if you voluntarily provide us with your cell phone number.

8. Supporting the CIAS Platform for Future Research

The CIAS Application is a non-commercial and open research resource. Our goal is for cost to never be a barrier to distribution and use by the academic research community. You can help make this possible by including $3,000 per year for use of this platform into any new grant budgets. We also ask that well-funded investigators using CIAS for unfunded or internally funded studies also consider paying a similar amount to support this initiative. Studies involving many participants or many text messages may be required to provide financial support over and above $3,000 per year, even if not part of a funded study. All fees paid to MSU will be handled under a service contract that MSU will initiate.

If asked, we can “white list” your intervention (that is, for your participants to see your own logo). However, we will only add a study or University logo that you provide to us, and only if it is sent with an acknowledgement that you have the right or privilege to use that image for your study.

Applied use of the CIAS Application by non-profit organizations for projects that do not qualify as research (for example, projects that focus on service provision and that are not considered research by an IRB) will require written permission from MSU, and may require financial support. Permission can be requested by emailing us at

CIAS is administered by MSU to facilitate research around the world. However, MSU’s ability to provide technical support to individual CIAS Users is extremely limited. If you are having trouble using CIAS, please consult the training and help materials that are available on our website at If you are still having issues you may want to attend one of our onboarding and orientation sessions which are scheduled periodically. We will also provide a link for submission of technical support tickets, but our ability to respond to tickets depends on the volume of tickets we receive. If you require more technical support, we can provide a list of outside consultants with expertise in CIAS 3.0. These consultants, however, are not affiliated with MSU and may charge a fee for their services. MSU does not endorse or in any way warrant the work of any consultant recommend for technical support.

9. Citing the CIAS resource

All those using CIAS in their research must cite CIAS in publications and presentations as follows:

Ondersma S, Broderick B, Spiller A, Marcu G, Buis L. The Computerized Intervention Authoring System (CIAS), v. 3.0. CIAS is an open-source research resource funded by NIH/NIBIB grant 7U24EB028990 and administered by Michigan State University.

10. Suspension or Termination of Access

We have the right to deny your access to, and suspend or terminate your access to, the Application for any reason, including for any violation by you of these Terms of Use.

11. Limitation of Liability


i. any loss of profits, loss of business, loss of revenue, loss of contracts, loss of goodwill, loss of anticipated earnings or savings (whether direct, indirect, incidental or consequential); or
ii. any loss of use or value or damage of any data or equipment (including software), wasted management, operation or other time (whether direct, indirect, incidental or consequential); or
iii. Any special, indirect, punitive, incidental or consequential loss, arising in connection therefrom.

Universities shall not be liable for any unauthorized use of the Application, or the consequences thereof. Such unauthorized usage shall be entirely at your own risk.


You hereby agree and undertake to fully indemnify and keep the Universities harmless from and against all actions, claims, costs (including legal costs on a full indemnity basis), losses, charges, expenses and damages which we may suffer or incur as a result of:

  • any fraud, negligence, dishonesty or misconduct (criminal or otherwise) relating to the transactions perpetrated by you, your servants, agents, employees or contractors or the fraud, dishonesty or misconduct (criminal or otherwise) perpetrated by a third party as a result of the negligence or default of you, your servants, agents, employees or contractors.

  • any loss arising from any fraud or dishonesty arising from a breach of security of your software or hardware by a third party on the Application.

You shall not hold the Universities liable or responsible for any action, claim, cost, expense, damage and loss, including consequential loss or damage or loss of profit, which you may suffer or incur as a result of a breakdown in the Application or when the Application is not available by reason of circumstances beyond our control or arising directly or indirectly out of your use of the Application.

13. General Disclaimer

The services provided under this Application are provided to you “as is,” without any representation or warranty, express or implied, of any kind, including, but not limited to, warranties of MERCHATABILITY, non-infringement, or FITNESSS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE. The Universities do not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the CIAS application, the suitability of the content or the reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other information displayed or distributed through the Application. The Universities give no assurance that the Application will meet any or all requirements you may have, whether or not advised to you. Furthermore, the Universities give no assurance that the running of the Application will be incessant, uninterrupted or error-free, that defects will be corrected, or that the Application is free of viruses or other harmful components. The Universities cannot guarantee and do not promise any specific results from use of our services via the Application.

The Application and the service may be temporarily unavailable from time to time for maintenance or other reasons. The Universities assume no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of User communications. The Universities are not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of email or players on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or on the Application or combination thereof, including injury or damage to Users or to any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating or downloading materials in connection with the web and/or in connection with the service provided via the Application.

14. Force Majeure

The Universities will not be liable for delay or for failure to perform our obligations if and to the extent such delay or failure results from circumstances including but not limited to acts of God, fire, flood, invasion, war, revolution, uprising, insurrection, social/public unrest, public disturbance, strike, riots, fire disaster, storm, acts of terrorism, plague, epidemic, pandemic, outbreaks of infectious disease or any other public health crisis, including quarantine or other employee restrictions, and any other circumstance which may hinder or delay the performance of our obligations under this Terms of Use.

15. Data Protection

If you choose to use the Application, you agree to the collection and use of your Personal Data in accordance with the CIAS Privacy Policy. We will not use or share your personal information with anyone except as provided in the Privacy Policy.

16. Dispute Resolution

If a dispute or difference arises as to the validity, interpretation, effects or rights and obligations of the Parties under this Agreement, the Parties shall use their best endeavor to reach an amicable settlement of dispute. All actions or proceedings related to these Terms of Use shall be litigated in state courts of competent jurisdiction located in the state of Michigan, United States of America. User consents and submits to the jurisdiction of any Michigan state court with competent jurisdiction and shall not bring any action or claim against MSU in any other jurisdiction.

17. Applicable Law

These Terms of Use shall be governed and construed under the laws of the United States of America and the State of Michigan.

18. Waiver and Severability

Our failure to enforce a provision of these Terms is not a waiver of our right to do so later. If any provision of these Terms is found unenforceable, the remaining provisions of the Terms will remain in full effect and an enforceable term or terms will be substituted reflecting our intent as closely as possible.

19. Contact Us

Any question regarding the use of the Application, or comments about the services provided via the Application or its contents should be directed to

20. Modifications

We reserve the right to change, modify and update these Terms of Use at any time. Your continued use of the Application after any modifications to these Terms of Use shall mean you accept those modifications. Any aspect of the Application or the services provided on the Application may be amended, changed, modified, supplemented, deleted or updated without notice at our sole discretion. You should therefore review these Terms of Use each time you access this Application.

Accelerating digital intervention science.

© 2021 CIAS All rights reserved      Terms & Conditions / Privacy Policy

Funded by NIH/NIBIB grant EB028990 (PI Steven J. Ondersma)

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