Core Human Factors, Inc., is proud to announce the formation of a new IRB, Institutional Review Board. IRBs are responsible for reviewing research plans to ensure that they are ethical, in particular that the planned research protocol protects subjects (research participants). Approval from an IRB is either a necessary or an optional step in research depending on who is conducting the research, who is funding the research, and how the research may eventually be used.
The new Core Human Factors is registered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and is comprised of approximately 6 ethically interested scientists and non-scientists, men and women from a variety of backgrounds. We aim to provide fast, high-quality, and inexpensive IRB review as a for-profit service for low-risk behavioral (non-drug) research. To our knowledge, no other for-profit IRB focuses on this subtype of research, and the overhead involved for them in processing high-risk drug-oriented research makes other for-profit IRBs more expensive, slower, and less relevant to behavioral research.
IRBs were modeled on the Belmont report following the Nuremberg code to prevent recurrence of cruel experiments on concentration camp prisoners. Nevertheless, as you might imagine, a bureaucratic structure instituted to guard against a problem that does not arise still finds something to do. Today’s IRBs end up mandating minor edits for text on consent forms or advertisements for studies (often requiring additional re-review by the IRB), with no empirical evidence that the original version poses even a minor ethical problem, much less the sort of major problem that IRBs were instituted to guard against. Most IRBs simply delay, or make financially impractical, what would otherwise be entirely ethical research. I have seen more than one entirely ethical research project jettisoned because “that would require IRB approval, and that makes it impractical.” In a real sense, in the modern context of research that is already held to high ethical standards via other mechanisms, these delays and roadblocks are themselves ethically questionable.
The Core Human Factors, Inc. IRB #1 follows the intent of the Belmont report, and, in doing so, aims to eliminate as much bureaucracy as possible (in order to avoid interfering with ethical research), keep an eye out for any real ethical problems, and allow researchers to get on with their work.
If you are interested in submitting a study to the Core Human Factors, Inc IRB, call Marc Egeth at 1-888-955-CORE (2673). Don’t forget to ask about our student and not-for profit research discount, if applicable.