Review Types

What are the three types of IRB review?

There are three types of IRB review: Full Board, Expedited, and Exempted Review. The review type is defined by the level of risk to participants associated in the research. Figure 1 illustrates the three types with a brief description of each.

Types of IRB Reviews

Figure 1: Types of IRB Reviews

Research requires IRB approval [Full Board / Expedited]

Research that involves human subjects and is intended to be published, then it requires IRB review and approval. Four types of research are as following:

  • Research that uses humans as test subjects for the development of new devices, products, or materials.
  • Data collected through intervention or interaction with individuals. These includes the types based on deployment methods
    • Online surveys
    • Paper surveys
    • Telephonic Surveys

One-to-One interviewsEach type of survey is based on the frequency of deployment:

  • Cross-sectional studies
  • Longitudinal surveys
  • Retrospective survey
  • Studies using private information that can be readily identified with individuals, even if the information was not collected specifically for the study in question.
  • An analysis of data that has been identified individually in order to generalize knowledge about categories or classes of subjects. 

Research does NOT require IRB approval [Exempted]

  • Data collection for administrative purposes within departments, schools, or other organizations within the University.
  • Customer satisfaction surveys and service surveys. When researchers need data collected by companies, approval from the data collection entities is required. 
  • Information-gathering interviews where questions focus on things, products, or policies rather than people or their thoughts regarding themselves.
  • Course-related activities will guide the program coordinator in making decisions. Documents related to course activities used for research purposes should obtain IRB approval. 
  • Biography or oral history research involving a living individual that is not generalizable beyond that individual
  • Conducting procedures on behalf of an external agency under an independent contract. Among the examples are personnel studies, cost- benefit analyses, customer satisfaction studies, biological sample processing (for a fee and not for any credit or authorship), public park usage, information technology usage, and software development. Figure 2 shows the process of the determination IRB review type.

Process for Determination of type of required IRB review

All terms used in the chart are defined in the glossary of appendix A.
Figure2: Process for Determination of type of required IRB review