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Field Studies That Employ Only Observation

Exemption from Informed Consent--Field/Observational Studies

The IRB may waive the informed consent requirement for field studies that involve only observation of publicly observable behavior that would occur in the absence of the researcher, if all of the following are true:

  • risk to participants events is minimal.

  • research could not be effectively carry out if consent were obtained (i.e.,obtaining consent  would substantially alter the behavior being observed).

  • the observations do not invade privacy, embarrass those observed, or otherwise adversely affect the welfare of participants.

  • participant confidentiality is preserved.