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Demystifying the IRB: Human Subjects Research in Academic Libraries

From: portal: Libraries and the Academy
Volume 10, Number 3, July 2010
pp. 309-321 | 10.1353/pla.0.0114



Many academic librarians are interested in pursuing research studies that involve students, faculty, and other library patrons; these projects must be approved by an institutional review board (IRB). This article reviews federal requirements and regulations for human subjects research and explains the IRB application process. The author discusses common types of research projects undertaken by academic librarians that require IRB approval and offers suggestions for successful navigation through the IRB process. Academic librarians should embrace research involving human subjects because the results contribute to the corpus of scholarly knowledge in library and information science as well as in higher education.