Oral History Exempted from Federal Oversight
The U.S. Office for Human Research Protection (OHRP) of the Department of Health and Human Services announced in October that most oral history interviewing projects will no longer fall within the purview of institutional review boards, or IRBs. Such boards, which oversee research involving human subjects, derive their authority from federal regulations. Research experiments funded by any of seventeen different federal agencies must be preapproved and monitored by IRBs, and most universities require that all research involving human subjects, regardless of funding source, go through the IRBs. The AAUP joined other concerned organizations in urging the exemption for oral history.
IRBs were originally developed in response to serious ethical violations in clinical research. Their rules require that research subjects give informed consent, that their well-being not be compromised, and that the research in question be worth performing. In recent years, nonclinical research projects in areas such as anthropology, history, journalism, and sociology have increasingly come under IRB scrutiny, sometimes with inappropriate or detrimental results.
According to Linda Shopes, who represented the American Historical Association in discussions with the OHRP, …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Oral History Exempted from Federal Oversight. Contributors: Not available. Magazine title: Academe. Volume: 90. Issue: 1 Publication date: January/February 2004. Page number: 9. © American Association of University Professors Nov/Dec 2008. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.