Social and behavioral researchers' experiences with their irbs

Ethics and Behavior 17 (1):1 – 17 (2007)
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A national survey on researchers’ experiences with their institutional review boards (IRBs) is presented, focused exclusively on social and behavioral researchers. A wide range of experiences is apparent in the data, especially in terms of turnaround time for submitted protocols, incidence of data collection without prior IRB approval, and stated reasons for "going solo." Sixty-two percent felt that the turnaround time they typically experience is "reasonable," and 44% said they had not experienced long delays in obtaining approval. However, 48% of respondents reported either conducting a project without IRB approval or modifying an existing project without IRB approval, with anticipated time for approval being the dominant reason offered for doing so. This adds a new dimension to the widely discussed "national IRB crisis" (e.g., Illinois White Paper, 2005). The article concludes with 2 preliminary recommendations for IRB reform



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