Rocking the IRB

13 Apr

So the other day someone Google-searched “writing a thesis-irb approval” and got my blog.

And I realized that maybe I should put something useful on here. Rather than just my random thoughts. Not that I don’t have amazing thoughts or anything. Because I AM narcissistic enough to start a blog only about my thoughts…and as such my thoughts must be amazing.

While I haven’t completed my IRB proposal quite yet I have learned some things that could come in handy and I will share them here:

1. Get your “&”s and “AND”s straight – in in-text citations for two authors use “&” as in:

(Weathersby & Weathersby, 2011)

Use “and” in the actual text, as in:

According to Weathersby and Weathersby (2011)

2. Only use “et al.,” after you’ve already cited all of the authors in the reference at least once.

3. If you’re using vulnerable populations cover your ass. You’re going to number each participant, and the   information is going to be locked in a box that is locked inside another box and that box is going to be locked inside a room and you’ve swallowed the key. Any videos or audio recordings WILL SELF-DESTRUCT.

4. If you think you’re only going to get ten participants but there’s a chance that you could get 12…say you’ll have 20.

5. Keep all of your references in one place. And document them immediately. Or you will regret it.

No, I’m NOT speaking from experience. Maybe.

6. If you’re providing therapy as part of your research make sure you state that you’ll be supervised just as you would be in your clinic. ASHA says that as SLP grad students we have to be supervised and that doesn’t change just because you’re doing research rather than trying to get clock hours.

7. If you think you might harass some undergrads into doing boring coding and transcription put that in there. And put that they’ll know all about HIPAA and CITI.

8. Don’t start hunting for participants until you’ve been approved. This is tricky because you need to know if there are participants out there, but you can’t actually put anything in writing. So, for example, I’m planning on recruiting nursing home residents. I can’t go to nursing homes with a letter of solicitation. I have to call and be weirdly vague, and refer to investigations rather than research and try to figure out if anyone would be interested…MAYBE. If you start recruiting people before you’ve been approved and it gets back to the IRB you’re basically screwed.

9. Be very specific about your informed consent. Provide copies of anything you’ll be giving the participants.

That’s all I got for now, as I go through the process I’ll share more!

And PS – this is a great site for referencing and style.


One Response to “Rocking the IRB”


  1. so close i can smell it. « so to Speak - April 26, 2011

    […] you’re working on an IRB Approval write-up currently here are some more things to […]

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