Oral history interviews, that only document specific historical events or the experiences of individuals or communities over different time periods would not constitute "human subjects research" as they would not support or lead to the development of a hypothesis in a manner that would have predictive value. The collection of such information, like journalism, is generally considered to be a biography, documentary, or a historical record of the individual's life or experience; or of historical events. Oral history interviews of individuals is not usually intended to be scientific or to produce generalizable information and hence is not usually considered 'research' in accordance with the federal regulations or CU policy. Therefore, such oral history activities should not be submitted to the CU IRB for review.
Still covered by IRB jurisdiction are psychological studies that borrow some oral history techniques to test hypotheses. An example might be Kim T. Buehlman, John M. Gottman, and Lynn Fainsilber Katz, "How a Couple Views Their Past Predicts Their Future: Predicting Divorce from an Oral History Interview," Journal of Family Psychology 5 (March/June 1992): 295-318.
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