Signing and Handling Signed Forms

Where do I get forms?
The forms are available from the NJRSF site.
Can I put all the forms in one file?
No, that will not work. And if you use the combined file available from the ISEF site and try to split it up after filling it out, some users have had difficulty doing that, since it appears the security settings on that file are set incorrectlyi on the SSP site. Use the forms from the NJRSF site (see above), and fill out one form per file.
Digital Signatures are not required or recommended.
Since 2012, we have not required or even encouraged digital signatures. We have replaced this process with a "web-signature" that runs from our website. We encourage all participants to use this new procedure, as it will cut down on work for everybody. The one new requirement this imposes is that you must put in email addresses (a.k.a. user IDs) for each adult who must sign your forms. At a minimum this includes your parents, and for some it will include mentors, IRB members, Designated Supervisor, etc. This requirement is fulfilled *after* you complete the initial entry, and it is reflected in the first line of your Entry Status block.
How do I sign forms on the web?
Once you are logged in, under your name on the navbar, you will see a choice for "sign forms." Clicking on this will show the forms required and submitted that require your signature (Note that this is keyed to the Roles information on the registration screen if you are not a student or a teacher, so the roles must be updated first.) This screen will enable participants to accomplish the signature process quickly and efficiently, without the hassle of the PDF digital signature process that some of us experienced in 2011. It will especially save time for teachers with a lot of forms to sign.
Why would I use digital signatures anyway?
We encourage you not to do so, and, even if you do, to use the web signatures in addition. However there may be times when for some reason a parent or other participant cannot execute this procedure. And in those cases, it will be necessary to provide either a digital signature or a (scanned) manual signature. Note that in general we do not allow scanned forms except for this one reason. If you need to use a digital signature, then keep reading.
I've got a form in my browser, why doesn't it have signature fields?
The forms are not provided with signature fields. Using either Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat, you can still sign them, though--see below.
How do I sign?
When you open the form in Reader or Acrobat (and note this might not work inside your browser, depending on what browser you're using and how it's configured), you will notice at the top of the screen a symbol of a pencil. Hover your mouse over that and it will say "sign a PDF document." Click on that, and it should give you an instruction to define the signature box by dragging your mouse. Do that, and position the box in the appropriate signature line on the form. Then follow the remaining steps that the program will guide you through to complete the signature.
I've got a form in my browser, but the signing button doesn't work?
One of two things: either you are clicking on the wrong button (it's the one on the top edge of the screen, not the one on the left side), or you have the form open inside your browser, and the browser interface isn't honoring the signature protocol. In the former case, try the other button. In the latter case, download the file to your PC, in some place where you can find it, and then open it inside Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat. Then the signature protocol should operate properly, if you have at least Reader version 8.0 or higher.
I am using Adobe Reader but I cannot load the files.
You might have to update your version of Reader or Acrobat, as appropriate. The forms should work with current versions.
After I save the form, nobody else can sign it.
This might be caused if you filled out and signed the form in Acrobat (this is not a problem in Reader), and then saved it without granting signature and commenting rights.

In order to do this (and remember these instructions apply *only* if you are signing in Acrobat!):

My project requires informed consent from human subjects. Do they also have to sign digitally?
No, they do not. The digital signatures only pertain to the forms that must be submitted for certification of the project, and the (physically) signed consent forms are not included. The signed consent forms should be brought to the fair, in the student's notebook, for inspection, but they are never submitted, either to the NJRSF or to ISEF.