The Arctic Data Center accepts data from all disciplines and research types, including research that involves human participants. To better support Arctic social science and interdisciplinary researchers, we have curated a list of resources to help guide the application process for approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB).
The purpose of this page is to provide some general tips and guides, but we recommend going to your IRB for specific questions.
Table of Contents
- Before You Get Started
- General Tips
- Data Sharing and Sensitive Data
- Resources for Research Best Practices when Working with Arctic Communities
Before You Get Started
- Complete any required training from your institution’s IRB
- Ensure you have communicated your research goals and intentions with relevant rights-holders, and that this research is supported by relevant community members and stakeholders
- Set expectations and guidelines for any necessary data sharing agreements between stakeholders
- Communicate IRB application expectations to research team
IRB applications and processes will vary depending on the type of research, and the university, meaning there is no universal application process. Every university that facilitates research has an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure ethical research practices for human subject research. Below are a few general resources to help guide the application process.
Example of an Initial IRB Application (Boston College, n.d.)
Sample IRB application relevant for those conducting surveys (San Jose State University, n.d.)
Tips and Guides
How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the IRB
Data Sharing and Sensitive Data
Sensitive data, meaning data that contains identifiable information needs to be anonymized before sharing or publishing (Educause, 2015). Plans for the data post collection need to be fully communicated within the IRB application, and research participant research forms.
Deidentifying Data (Kantoris, 2020)
duawranglr: Securely Wrangle Dataset According to Data Usage Agreement (Skinner, 2021)
Anonymise your data (Guen, 2021)
Security Survey Options (qualtrics, n.d.)
A Practical Guide to Anonymizing Datasets with Python & Faker (Bengfort, n.d.)
Data Sharing and Policy
9 Sharing and Preserving Indigenous Knowledge of the Arctic Using Information and Communication Technology
(McCann et al., 2018)
Qualitative Open Science – Pain Points and Perspectives
(Field et al., 2021)
Scientific Cooperation: Supporting Circumpolar Permafrost Monitoring and Data Sharing (Bouffard et al., 2021)
The Canadian Consortium for Arctic Data Interoperability: An Emerging Polar Information Network (Christoffersen et al., 2018)
Resources for Research Best Practices when Working with Arctic Communities
There are additional considerations when working with Arctic Indigenous communities. Historically, research conducted on Indigenous lands lacked consent or participation from local communities, and rarely benefited the communities (Gearheard & Shirley, 2007; Alcock et al., 2017; Schang et al., 2020; Wong et al., 2020). Today, there are many resources to guide best practices as researchers work towards reconciliation. We have listed a few of those resources, and also recommend researching the specific needs of the community you are working with.
The U.S.Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) published a piece, “Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic (2018),” which encourages researchers to:
- Be Accountable
- Establish Effective Communication
- Respect Indigenous Knowledge and Cultures
- Build and Sustain Relationships
- Pursue Responsible Environmental Stewardship
The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) has also provided a valuable list of best practices for working with Indigenous communities in the Arctic.
Research Best Practices
Human Subjects Research Considerations
(Budden et al., 2022)
National Inuit Strategy on Research
(Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), 2018)
Negotiating Research Relationships with Inuit Communities: A Guide for Researchers
IASSA Principles and Guidelines for Conducting Ethical Research in the Arctic (International Arctic Social Sciences Association, 2022)
Co-Production and Reconciliation
A framework for co-production of knowledge in the context of Arctic research (Yua et al., 2022)
Towards: reconciliation: 10 Calls to Action to natural scientists working in Canada (Wong et. al., 2020)
Sharing Oral History with Arctic Indigenous Communities: Ethical Implications of Bringing Back Research Results (Allemann & Dudeck, 2019)
Understanding Our Environment Requires an Indigenous Worldview (Daniel, 2019)
References and Images
This is the link to our bibliography and additional resources page.
All of the icons are from thenounproject.com.