IRB Resources


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

  • 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

General Tips

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. 

IRB Examples

Example of an Initial IRB Application (Boston College, n.d.)

Sample IRB application relevant for those conducting surveys (San Jose State University, n.d.)

Required Documents

All Required Documents for IRB Submission (University of Texas at Arlington, n.d.)

Drafting the Informed Consent Form (University of California Irvine, n.d.)

Research Instrument Examples
(Teachers College, Columbia University, n.d.)

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.

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.

References and Images

This is the link to our bibliography and additional resources page.

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