Levels of Review

Level 1: Research to be reviewed by the Bethel Institutional Review Board

If your research includes any of the following criteria, it must be reviewed by the Institutional Review Board.

1. Research on stressful or highly personal topics, including but not limited to:

  • AIDS issues
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Sexual attitudes or behavior
  • Illegal conduct
  • Religious or racial attitudes

2. Research involving vulnerable populations.

Research involving children under the age of 18*, pregnant women, prisoners, wards, (see Federal Regulations, July 14, 2009), and other "vulnerable populations," such as mentally disabled persons and economically or educationally disadvantaged persons.

3. Research involving personality measures.

Research involving the use of instruments to measure personality characteristics, traits, structure, or disorders (e.g., MMPI, Myers-Briggs, BDI, or others in the public domain), which require adequate training for proper interpretation.

4. Research such that if a participant's responses became known outside the research it could reasonably place him/her at risk in the following ways:

  • Criminal or civil liability
  • Damage to the participant's financial standing
  • Damage to the participant's employability or employment status
  • Damage to the participant’s standing at an academic institution

5. Research in which data are collected through videotape, audio tape, or photographs, since it is impossible to completely remove or disguise identifying information in such materials.

6. Research conducted by investigators external to Bethel.

 

* Some types of research conducted in K-12 school settings are reviewed at the departmental level depending on the nature of the research. See the criteria at Level 2 for research reviewed by departments. Research which involves the observation of public behavior of minors may be reviewed at the Instructor/Supervisor level depending on the nature of the research. See the criteria at Level 3 for research reviewed by the instructor/supervisor.

Level 2: Research to be reviewed by the supervising department(s)

If your research includes any of the following criteria and does not meet the criteria for Level 1, it must be reviewed by the Supervising/Consulting Department(s).

1. Research involving curricular and instructional strategies.

Research conducted in established or commonly accepted educational settings, involving normal educational practices such as instructional strategies, curricula, or classroom management methods directed toward the class as a whole.

2. Research with conditions created by the researcher.

Research in which different conditions are created and applied by the researcher to groups of participants.

Level 3: Research to be reviewed by the instructor or supervisor

If your research involves survey/interview procedures, observation of public behavior, or archival data, and does not meet the criteria for review at Level 1 or Level 2, it must be reviewed by your instructor or supervisor.

1. Research using survey/interview procedures.

When all of the following conditions exist, research can be considered Survey/Interview Procedures:

  • Participants are at least 18 years old.
  • Participants are not from vulnerable populations (see Federal Regulations, July 14, 2009), which include:
    • Children under the age of 18
    • Pregnant women, prisoners, wards, mentally disabled persons, and economically or educationally disadvantaged persons
  • Participants will receive appropriate pre-survey/interview disclosure, such as an informed consent form or a detailed cover letter.
  • Responses are recorded in such a manner that the participants cannot be identified, directly or through identifiers linked to the participants.
  • No visual or audio recording is used.

2. Observation of public behavior.

Research involving the observation (including observation by participants) of public behavior of legally competent non-institutionalized adults. This research may include the observation of minors in cases where the investigator is not a participant in the activity being observed.

When all of the following conditions exist, research can be considered Observation of Public Behavior:

  • Observations are recorded in such a manner that the participants cannot be identified, directly or through identifiers linked to the participants.
  • Responses are recorded in such a manner that the participants cannot be identified, directly or through identifiers linked to the participants.
  • No visual or audio recording is used.

3. Research using archival data

Research involving the collecting or study of existing data, documents, records, pathologica specimens, or diagnostic specimens, if those sources are publicly available or if the information is recorded in such a manner that the individual sources cannot be identified, directly or indirectly, through identifiers linked to the individuals.

The use of archival data (i.e., previously collected data provided to the researcher by an organization) requires written approval from an appropriate authority to obtain and use the data. This must be submitted with the Human Subjects Review Form.

 

Institutional Review Board, Bethel University, December 12, 2010

Adapted from materials of the University of Minnesota, Committee on the Use of Human Subjects in Research.