All research connected with members of the Park University community must be reviewed and approved by the IRB. The Park University IRB defines "research" as a systematic investigation—including research development, testing and evaluation—involving a living individual about whom you obtain:
- data through intervention or interaction, INCLUDING surveys and interviews, and/or
- identifiable private information in a form associable with that individual.
Studies involving non-intrusive observation of public behavior are not obliged to undergo IRB review. The Park IRB recognizes the following definition for the term "public behavior" for the purposes of IRB exemption:
Public behavior is behavior occurring without the intervention of the researcher, and which the individual could reasonably expect to be observed. Observation of reactions to "staged" events and of behavior occurring in private settings (e.g., at home, in a bathroom stall) or in settings in which individuals have reasonable expectations of a limited audience (e.g., classrooms, meetings of identified groups) is not exempt. Adapted from US Department of Health and Human Services Code of Federal Regulations, 45 CFR 46.101(b)(2)
The Park University IRB recognizes social media activity as falling under this statutory definition of "public behavior," i.e., it is not considered to occur in a private setting, and it does not carry with it the expectation of a limited audience.
If you are a member of the Park University community (a student, faculty, or staff member at the Parkville campus, any of the campus centers, or online) and intend to conduct research that involves human participants, either on campus or elsewhere, you must have your research plans reviewed and approved by the IRB prior to the initiation of your project. Researchers who are not affiliated with Park University who intend to conduct research involving members of the Park University community as participants are also required to secure Park University IRB approval prior to beginning their research. Upon completion of the research, researchers must file a “completion form” with the IRB Chair.
If your research takes longer than one year to complete, please submit a "continuation form" to the IRB Chair.
If you modify your research, please submit a "modification form" to the IRB Chair.
Please see the FAQ page for additional information.