IRB Certification and Reflection.
For LIS 600 - Foundations in Library Science, one of my first assignments was to complete IRB Certification for UNCG in order to conduct basic research. The process involved completing several required and elective training modules online through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) to attain certification. To the right is my certificate from CITI and below are some of my thoughts on the process.
As an undergraduate with a minor in psychology, I was somewhat familiar with what an IRB is. However, knowing what an IRB is and what its purpose is was about all I really knew about the process.
Psychology and research studies are an area of interest for me, and while we find studies like Milgram’s experiment and the Stanford Prison Experiment unethical now, I think both shed an interesting light on human behavior. I also think they are great examples of why the IRB process is so important. It might be very tempting to recreate those experiments or design new ones to study how people behave, but certainly the subject’s psychological well-being is more important.
I think the purpose of the IRB is even more important in the face of experiments like the Tuskegee syphilis study, where the effects can be lasting and even fatal. I was not familiar with this study until working on my IRB certification, and I think it is a prime example of why the whole process is in place.
The process to get certified was much more involved than I originally anticipated. The modules were repetitive, but I actually feel like this was pretty effective in driving home the main points and in remembering them.
I was fascinated by the module on internet research. I was unfamiliar with the Harvard T3 study. I think it sounds fascinating but it’s a great reminder that even the brightest minds may underestimate the power of the online world and its lack of anonymity. With so much information being online now, I think the ethical issues raised (such as peoples’ expectations of privacy versus how much privacy they actually have) need to be addressed.