There are a number of interesting points, but let's start with the response to Question 25, about the possible exclusion of "certain fields of study" from the Common Rule.
Executive director Joan Rachlin writes,
Regarding the ANPRM’s question about whether the Common Rule should be revised to explicitly state that certain activities that have traditionally not been viewed as research (classics, history, languages, literature, and journalism, e.g.) are not covered (Q. 25), PRIM&R is unaware that the failure to exclude these fields from the Common Rule has ever been a problem for scholars in classics, or literature, etc., and therefore questions whether such a provision is even worth considering. That said, PRIM&R suggests that determinations regarding what is and is not subject to IRB review should be made on the basis of the specific research activity in question, and not on the basis of an investigator’s scholarly discipline. This would address some current inconsistencies regarding what type of inquiry gets reviewed.
"Classics, or literature, etc.?"
What's up with the "etc."? Has Rachlin not heard the complaints from historians, linguists, and journalists? Or has she heard the rumbling, but thinks that if she avoids writing "history," "language," or "journalism," those problems will go away?
History. It's the new bear taboo.