Types of Review
Information Only, no approval needed
Administrative surveys not intended for a particular research study or publication but to furnish information for internal assessment and planning purposes. Examples include marketing surveys, admissions surveys, the CIRP Freshmen and Senior surveys, and the Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory.
Also includes small student surveys of the student body done as a course requirement. The professor must provide oversight and instruction in survey construction, sampling, administration and analysis.
Assessment Office Approval
Electronic surveys designed to collect information for a specific project or course assignment. The results are not considered “research” and will not be written for academic publication.
Assessment Office and Human Subjects Review Committee (HSRC) approval
Research for the purposes of academic publication (student newspapers, journal articles, degree requirements, dissertations, etc.). Criteria include:
- No risk to subjects
- Anonymous surveys—subjects cannot be identified
- Observations of public behavior
- Education tests or investigations in which the subjects cannot be identified
Assessment Office, HSRC, and Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval
Research for the purposes of academic publication. Criteria include:
- Likelihood of risk, stress, or discomfort to the subjects
- Surveys that include questions of a personal and sensitive nature where subjects’ identities will not be anonymous to the researcher, including subjects’ use of alcohol, drugs, or their sexual behavior
- Moderate exercise by healthy subjects
- Data collected from individuals subjected to noninvasive tests and procedures
Animal Care & Use Committee approval
Research that involves live animals.
HSRC and IRB Levels of Review
If the research project involves any of the following criteria, the project will receive a full review by the IRB*:
- Support from non-university sources (e.g. government agencies) that requires an IRB approval.
- The likelihood of risk or substantial stress or discomfort to the subject(s)
- Personality tests, inventories, or questionnaires of a personal and sensitive nature where subjects’ identities will not be anonymous to the researcher
- Sensitive aspects of a subject’s behavior that could reasonably place a subject at risk of criminal/civil liability or be damaging to a subject’s financial standing or employability
- Sensitive aspects of a subject’s behavior such as illegal conduct, drug use, sexual behavior, or use of alcohol
- Health care procedures that are not conducted for the primary benefit of the subject
- Diagnostic or therapeutic assessments, interventions, or measures that are not standard, generally acceptable, or common practice
- Deception or procedures that are not known to the subject (e.g., the subject will not be fully informed about study objectives)
- Special populations (e.g. children, prisoners, pregnant women, or individuals who are mentally or psychologically ill or incompetent)
- Greater than minimal risk to subjects (cf. Section V)
- Collection of blood samples or other body fluids in any amount
*The chair of the HSRC will be responsible for assembling an IRB that fulfills the specified requirements of an IRB. The HSRC will serve as the core of the IRB, but will not constitute a full IRB.
If none of the above descriptors apply to the research proposal, the project may require a less rigorous, expedited review. The following are the criteria that determine whether a project will receive expedited review:
- Minimal risk (If more than minimal, it needs full review.)
- Data recorded from subjects 18 years of age or older using noninvasive procedures routinely employed in clinical practice
- Voice recording analysis made for research purposes
- Moderate exercise by healthy volunteers
- Research on individual or group behavior, or characteristics of individuals, without manipulation of a subject’s behavior and in a manner that does not cause stress to subjects
If none of the preceding descriptors for full or expedited review apply to the project, the research proposal falls under the category of exempt review.
Such proposals still require HSRC approval. Exempt review means that the application only requires a review by the HSRC chair to confirm that the proposal does not warrant a more in-depth review by the full committee. The following are the criteria that determine whether a project will receive an exempt review:
- Investigations of commonly accepted educational practices in established or commonly accepted settings (e.g. a faculty member or teacher is examining a new method of teaching instruction to determine educational effectiveness)
- Analysis of information from educational tests that will be recorded in such a manner that subjects cannot be identified
- Surveys or interviews in which responses will be recorded in such a manner that a subject cannot be identified directly or through identifiers linked to a subject. To qualify for exempt status, the surveys would not involve vulnerable populations (e.g. juveniles) or ask questions about sensitive aspects of a subject’s behavior (e.g. criminal behavior)
- Observations of public behavior (subject observation)
- Collection or study of publicly available existing data, documents, records, or specimens
- Collection or study of existing data, documents, records, or specimens in which information will be recorded or reported in such a manner that a subject cannot be identified directly or through identifiers linked to a subject