Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What Can One University Do?

A few weeks ago, a correspondent asked me what reforms individual universities can implement while awaiting systemic, regulatory reform. It's an excellent question, so here's a roundup from material previously covered on the blog.

No university has adopted all of these measures, and at least one of these measures has not been adopted by any. But most of them are in place already, and there's no reason they can't spread.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Boston College Oral History Roundup

I rely on the exceptionally thorough Boston College Subpoena News for updates on the efforts of the United Kingdom and United States governments to get access to oral history interviews of participants in Northern Ireland's Troubles, but I feel I should flag three items of special interest to readers of this blog.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Federal Demonstration Parternship Pilots Exempt Wizard

In response to concern about "Over-review of Exempt Research", the Federal Demonstration Partnership is testing an Exempt Wizard, which would allow researchers to fill in a computer form and learn if their projects are exempt, rather than waiting for an IRB or IRB staff to make that determination.

Boston University, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, College of Charleston, Sacramento State, New York University, and the University of Washington are participating in the trial.

This sounds most promising.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

REB Members Beg U of Ottawa to Defend Confidentiality

IRB apologists sometimes argue that IRB review is necessary to ensure that universities will defend researchers and their participants from litigation. Boston College Subpoena News reminds us that ethics approval is no guarantee of such support.

[“News of Interest: Canadian Academics Strongly Defend Research Confidentiality, Call for University Support of Researchers.” Boston College Subpoena News, April 9, 2013.]