by Anne Meade, Senior Manager for Website and Social Media
In early 2012, the IRB Forum, a resource-rich online community for human research protections professionals, found a new home at PRIM&R. We were (and are!) delighted to have this online community as a part of PRIM&R’s network of rich educational and networking resources. The past year brought some changes to the IRB Forum, the most significant of which was a technical upgrade. The software that runs the Forum had been out of date for some time, and was updated in order to ensure the continued smooth operation of the Forum.
The technical upgrade had its challenges, but the IRB Forum now offers some beneficial new features that we wanted to be sure you were aware of:
- Daily or weekly digests: You can now receive daily or weekly digests of messages posted on the Forum. If you prefer, you can still get an email any time someone posts a new message or replies to a thread. Visit your Forum Subscriptions page to adjust your subscription settings.
- Email notifications: You can now sign up to receive email notifications for every forum, including Jobs, Events, Resources, and Discussions. Visit your Forum Subscriptions page to adjust these settings.
- Direct posting: Similar to the discussions forum, now you can post a message in every forum directly from the website, instead of emailing the moderator. Simply go to the forum where you want to post and click “New Topic.”
At the end of November, we distributed a survey to IRB Forum members to get their feedback on the IRB Forum in order to understand what additional features they would like to see incorporated. Some requested features included: improving the search functionality, creating a repository of frequently asked questions, and reinstating the ability to submit a post via email. We will consider these and other features as we continue to improve the IRB Forum.
Lastly, I want to leave you with a sampling of some of the current discussions happening in the IRB Forum (Please note you will need to be logged in to the IRB Forum to see these discussions.). Questions currently being considered include:
- What criteria should be used to determine when a waiver of parental permission is appropriate?
- Can minors serve as research staff?
- What is the regulatory framework that supports the conduct of local review for research studies occurring internationally?
- Does auto-experimentation require IRB review?
If you aren’t a member of the IRB Forum, you can go to the Register page to create a new profile.
For those who are members of the IRB Forum, I hope you continue to enjoy the discussions shared on the IRB Forum. If you have questions about the IRB Forum, or about the survey, please leave a comment below or contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (617.423.4112, ext. 113).