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Submissions :: Before you submit :: Activities that require IRB Review :: Examples

Examples of Activities That Do and Do Not Require IRB Review

Example of an Activity that Requires IRB Review
Example of an Activity that Does Not Require IRB Review
Difference Between Activities

Interviewing African American students about their experiences at various universities.                

Interviewing a university official about admission procedures and programs.

The first example is collecting data from the individual that is about that individual ("human subject").  The second example does not collect personal information about the individual ("human source"). Interviewing the university official about his or her individual experience as an admissions counselor would require IRB review.

Conducting an anonymous survey to gather political opinions from middle class Republican voters for a thesis.

Conducting an anonymous survey at the end of a semester to gather information about the students’ perception of their instructor as part of an instructor improvement initiative.

The first example is collecting data for a generalizable event (i.e. thesis publication). The second example is for an internal evaluation only. If the evaluation data were to be used in a publication for an education research journal, this use of the data would require IRB review.

Analyzing student records to determine a correlation between test scores and free lunch status.

Analyzing student records from students in the 1850s.
Studying interviews published in the library.

Although both examples involved data that are already collected, the IRB is only concerned with sources of data that are the primary source and can be linked directly to a living individual.

If you have questions about whether you should submit a study for review, please contact our office before you submit a protocol.

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