Institutional Review Boards
In 2004, I became increasingly interested in the operations of Institutional Review Boards, bodies that monitor research with human subjects by affiliates of universities and other research institutions. I am particularly interested in how these boards, established to govern medical and psychological research, affect the work of scholars in the social sciences and humanities, as well as journalism.
This interest has led to the following projects:
- The Institutional Review Blog.
Launched in December 2006, this blog tracks scholarship and policy developments concerning IRB oversight of research in the social sciences and humanities.
- IRB Documents: Public-domain documents on the IRB debate not easily found elsewhere.
- Ethical Imperialism: Institutional Review Boards and the Social Sciences, 1965-2009.
In this book, I argue that biomedical researchers and bioethicists repeatedly excluded social scientists from rule making and ignored the existing ethical traditions in nonmedical fields. The result is that university ethics panels routinely impede the work of scholars in those fields. For a 25 percent discount, please download the Now Available flyer.
- “Belmont”s Ethical Malpractice,” Bioethics Forum, 30 November 2010
- Zachary M. Schrag, “How Talking Became Human Subjects Research: The Federal Regulation of the Social Sciences, 1965–1991” Journal of Policy History 21, No. 1 (2009): 3-37.
Copyright © 2009 Donald Critchlow and Cambridge University Press, doi:10.1017/S0898030609090010. The PDF is posted on this personal website with the permission of the copyright holders.
- Ethical Training for Oral Historians.
In this essay for the March 2007 issue of the American Historical Association”s newsletter, Perspectives, I argued that “the training required by IRBs does more than waste historians” time. It misinforms researchers about their rights and responsibilities, and it distracts historians from the task of developing relevant ethical training for new interviewers.”
Journal of Policy History, Volume 23, issue 1 (January 2011). Special issue on the regulation of human subjects research. (Guest editor.)