What is the minimal risk?
Minimal risk means that the probability and magnitude of harm or discomfort anticipated in the research are not greater in and of themselves than those ordinarily encountered in daily life. For example, answering questions about one’s personality or opinion about a soft-drink advertisement via an online questionnaire is a type of minimal risk one may encounter in daily life.
What if my study involves collaboration with other universities or institutions?
Such studies are usually deemed as multi-site research. Reciprocal IRB arrangements may be possible and differ between institutes/ centres. You may submit your question about such a study to the IRB stating details of your project and your external collaborator. As a student, faculty, or researcher of AUCA, you are not to be directly involved with any collection of data (e.g., collection or coordinating the collection of data from local or regional human subjects) until the IRB has approved of your research project.
What if I am collecting data from human subjects from other countries?
Such studies are usually deemed as international research. The IRB will require information from the applicant on the investigator’s experience and expertise in collecting data in the country or that they are aware of the cultural and institutional nuances of the country. For instance, the applicant obtained his/her PhD in the United States and have had experience interacting and collecting information from human subjects in the United States, or the investigator-in-charge is a citizen of the country and have experience interacting with the country’s people in a professional or research capacity. Where required, the IRB will require suitable experts from the specific country to comment on your submitted application.
What if I am paying a research company to collect my data?
The same policies for IRB apply. In addition, detailed information on how the data will be collected, transferred, and stored by the company will be required. The interview script or data collection protocol used by the company will need to be submitted for review.
What if I am collecting information from my online social network connections (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn)?
This is allowed if you have asked them for permission via a consent form. The information available to you may be made so by your friends for the purpose of entertainment or to satisfy the need to share or affiliation. They may not have made the information to you for your research. Hence according to the principle of Respects for Persons, such data may not be collected unless consent has been given to you.
What if I am collecting data of human subjects that are publicly available?
This may be allowed only when such data are non-sensitive (e.g., gender orientation) and the identity of subjects are not revealed anyway in the reporting of the results of the research study. When web scraping tools are used, researchers are to respect restrictions placed on the sites’ robots.txt. When sending in for review, the application needs to show that such data are commonly used for similar research, and/or human subjects who provided the data would reasonably have expected that it could be used for research purposes.
Should I provide information in Russian and Kyrgyz?
Your application should be in English. Russian or Kyrgyz versions of your recruitment notice/advertisements, interview scripts, and/or questionnaires are to be provided for review if they will be used in your research project.
I am collecting data in a language other than English, Russian, or Kyrgyz. Should I provide the materials in this other language in my application?
Your application should be in English. You will need to submit your recruitment notice/advertisements, consent forms, interview scripts, and/or questionnaire in the language that you will use to collect data and interact with the participants in. You will also need to fill up the Translation Certificate Form.
What kind of changes can I make to my research projects without getting IRB for approval?
All changes to the approved protocol of the submitted research project require approval before the change. You will make a request for approval for the change using the amendment request form (insert hyperlink). While approval is required for changes such as adding of an additional question, adding an additional language, and changing target populations, approval for changes to grammatical or spelling errors, color, and fonts are not required if they do not change the commonly interpreted meaning of the information presented.
Really, why must there be an IRB? It is slowing my research down.
The role and purpose of AUCA IRB are stated here. The following experiences of psychologists and sociologist with their IRBs could shed further insights: