Elzbieta M Gozdziak
emg27 at georgetown.edu
Sun Apr 1 19:40:52 EDT 2007
These are wonderful references. I used them in many of my IRB applications. One caveat though, NSF has an 'anthropology program' so of course they understand better anthropological methodologies and ethnographic methods. A multidisciplinary IRB needs more explanation. On the other hand, I have learnt a lot from the GU IRB (as well as from doing multidisciplinary research with collegues from social work, psychology, etc.) and would not dream of doing a project without going through an IRB process. I have even incorporated IRB exercises in my applied and medical anthropology classes because I find that students are not exposed to questions of research ethics to the extent that they should be to enter a workforce.
At the SfAAs last week, several of us were talking about organizing a session for the following AAAs on ethics and IRBs.
Elzbieta M. Gozdziak, Ph.D.
Editor, International Migration
3300 Whitehaven St NW
Washington, DC 20007
e-mail: emg27 at georgetown.edu
----- Original Message -----
From: "Patty A. Gray" <ffpag at uaf.edu>
Date: Saturday, March 31, 2007 9:11 pm
Subject: [URBANTH-L]IRB woes
> There has been a great deal of discussion on this in recent years -
> think you will find plenty of support. I would recommend first of
> the forum in the November 2006 issue of American Ethnologist
> No.4, pp.478-548) titled "IRBs, Bureaucratic Regulation, and
> Freedom." I would direct you in particular to the article by
> Winslow of the National Science Foundation - she demostrates the
> that NSF policy supports ethnographic research, which can be
> ammunition in the face of an IRB dominated by natural scientists
> who may
> have difficulty understanding.
> There is also useful discussions of IRB issues in an article by
> Bruner in the January 2004 Anthropology News. His advice is to
> steadily to educate one's IRB, while remaining cooperative. The
> would be to make sure there is at least one social scientist on
> institution's IRB, and indeed if the IRB is reviewing social
> protocols, there is a strong case to be made for why social
> expertise is needed on the board.
> At my institution, we are lucky that we have an IRB that includes
> scientists and that is very understanding about the nature of
> science research. I find that I still have to adapt the
> biomedically-oriented IRB application form to my own purposes -
> questions are simply inappropriate for ethnographic research. In
> cases, I first explain what question should have been asked, and
> then I
> answer that question. Often what I am proposing in my application
> exceeds the ethical requirements implied by the original question,
> as insisting (with careful and patient explanation) that requiring
> signed consent forms in some cases would do harm to research
> You are right - most ethnographic studies should be "exempt," i.e.
> subject only to the minimal IRB review.
> Hang in there - you really are not alone, and there are resources
> can draw upon.
> Patty Gray
> University of Alaska Fairbanks
> 1. IRB vows and woes (Annegret Staiger)
> I am running into problems with our Institutional Review Board for
> gettingmy research proposal approved. My institution, which has no
> social science
> faculty on its board and is mostly reviewing pscychology, medical and
> technology research proposals, regards participant observation as
> method that requires a consentforms and a full IRB proposal. This
> is of
> course extremely impractical, if not impossible to do when doing field
> research in a natural setting. From colleagues I am hearing that
> theirIRB's are usually providing an exemption for anthropological
> research,unless it deals with vulnerable populations.
> Using this forum, I would like to find out how other
> anthropologists have
> dealt with their institution's reviewboards and how they have
> managed to
> let the IRB stiffle their research.
> Annegret Staiger
> Clarkson University
> Dr. Patty A. Gray
> Assistant Professor
> Graduate Coordinator
> Department of Anthropology
> University of Alaska Fairbanks
> 312B Eielson Bldg.
> P.O. Box 757720
> Fairbanks, AK 99775-7720
> Tel. (907) 474-6188
> Fax (907) 474-7453
> URBANTH-L mailing list
> URBANTH-L at lists.ysu.edu
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