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Posts Tagged ‘IRB’

As I discuss in some of my courses, one of the purposes of human subjects boards is to ensure that people are treated ethically by researchers.  I wonder, though, who ensures that the behavior of the human subjects board is ethical.  I discovered today that nearly the entire human subjects website for my school has been taken from another school.  This includes the relevant forms, instructions, and even the FAQ.  The worst part is that this fact is not even hidden.  While the links have been changed, the forms and FAQ refer repeatedly to an acronym that does not represent my institution but does represent an institution that is periodically named in the forms by mistake.  I haven’t been around long enough to be aware of any discussion that might have surrounded the adoption of these forms, but it appears that somebody decided that we needed a more robust human subjects review process and stole another school’s process rather than putting in the work of developing a process that will work best for our institution.  Of course, it is also possible that an underpaid and overworked staff member was given the task of updating the policies and  site.  Even so, the perpetrator may have chosen to pilfer from a peer institution.  The school the forms were taken from is ten times the size of my own.

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