AHA Today

Blogging the IRB

Robert B. Townsend | Jan 12, 2007

Members who are troubled about the growing intrusion of Institutional Review Boards over oral history will want to take a look at Institutional Review Blog, just started by Zachary Schrag at George Mason University.

In yesterday’s posting he offers an interesting letter from our friends at the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP). In response to a query about whether one of OHRP’s own oral history projects had been subject to IRB review, he was told that “OHRP determined that obtaining oral histories of members and staff of the National Commission did not represent research as defined at 45 CFR 46.102(d) because the activity was not a systematic investigation, nor was it intended to contribute to generalizable knowledge. This oral history activity was designed merely to preserve a set of individuals’ recollections; therefore, this activity was not subject to IRB review.”

If only every opinion from OHRP had such clarity.

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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