IRB Information

June 2015

“IRB” is “Institutional Review Board,” the formal body that regulates what we can do with research participants.

Please reference the guidelines below as a guide for whether or not your linguistics’ project requires IRB approval.

Some projects do not require IRB review. Please read the statement below from Wendy Brunt of the Office of the Human Research Protection Program.

[As of April 2015] “UCLA OHRPP determined that linguistics research which involves hiring language consultants to provide expert knowledge about language, which does not involve collection of identifiable, private information about the linguistic consultants, does not require submission of an application to the OHRPP/IRB. This determination was made based upon the understanding that the intent of research which involves linguistic consultants is not to collect or to analyze information about individuals; rather, the work involves interaction with individuals who will serve as consultants providing expert knowledge about their language, and does not involve the collection of personal information.”

If your work does not fall under this description, then your project needs approval.

Projects that require an IRB review:
  • All experimental work, including on-line experiments, must have IRB approval. If you are recruiting participants using the UCLA Psych pool, flyers, email listservs, Amazon Mechanical Turk, etc. IRB approval is required.
  • IRB approval can be gotten through a review (A) or, under certain circumstances, you can request an exemption from review (B):

A. If you are doing any experimental work with children, or experiments with adults that is considered “semi-invasive,” e.g. measuring eye movements, touching other than with a head-mounted microphone, etc., you will be subject to IRB review.
B. If you are testing adults in non-invasive experiments you can request an IRB exemption.

  • If you have any questions regarding whether or not your IRB project needs review you can contact the webIRB Helpdesk at 310-825-7122 or email them.
  • Also, the Language Lab Manager can be a helpful resource in submitting and managing IRB applications/approvals.
Useful Links:

Getting a UCLA webIRB account

Email your faculty sponsor/advisor the following information:

  • Your UCLA Logon ID – (Verify your UCLA Logon ID here)
  • Your UCLA UID# (9 digit #)
  • Your full name
    • First
    • Middle
    • Last
  • Your email address
  • Your department and division

The faculty sponsor/advisor then must email the Step 1 information to this address to request the account.

CITI training

All faculty, staff, & students must complete CITI training. Your project will not receive approval unless you and your faculty sponsor have this certification.

Here is the website to complete the CITI training.

  1. You must first register for an account — select University of California as your participating institution.
  2. Select the box for Social & Behavioral Researchers & Staff: investigators/staff submitting to the general campus IRBs option.
  3. IRB requires renewal of CITI training every 3 years.

IRB application

Please note that the Language Lab Manager is paid to assist all students and faculty in submitting and managing their IRB applications/approvals.

Submitting your project for IRB review is done completely online through your webIRB account.

The UCLA webIRB website has a lot of  helpful information on using the online system, creating and submitting an application, amending your project, etc.

Another very helpful thing to do is ask your fellow grad students or professors for copies of their own IRB applications. This is especially helpful when this person did a project very similar to yours (e.g. using the same population of speakers, or using the same testing method).

Lastly, you can always email the IRB directly with any questions you have. They are incredibly helpful! If you submit something incorrectly, IRB will tell you exactly what you need to do to fix it.

  • You can contact the North Campus General IRB at 310-825-7122 or email to this address.
  • Once you have submitted an application you will be assigned a contact person whom you can contact directly with any questions.