Beginning in January 2019, oral history projects usually fall outside of the purview of the Kenyon College IRB. However, Kenyon believes ethics and ethical principles should govern all of our educational and research activities.
Ethical considerations apply to all oral history projects and should continue throughout the course of the project: from the first contact with an interviewee to preserving, sharing and disseminating the results of interviews.
EXCLUDED ORAL HISTORIES
If the intent is to interview subjects/informants who have a unique perspective on a particular historical event or way of life and/or the investigator intends to let the informants' stories stand on their own as a "testimony" or in an archive, with no further analysis, the research may be
If unlike in projects described above, the investigator conducts the surveys or interviews with the intention of comparing, contrasting or establishing commonalities between different segments or among members of the same segment, it is clear that the investigator will draw generalized conclusions from the results. This type of research is not excluded from IRB review. Because such research is designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge (e.g., designed to draw conclusions, inform policy or generalize findings), the Kenyon College IRB has determined that it would constitute "research" as defined in 45 CFR 46.102(l). For example, knowledge gained from a study may be applied to populations outside of the specific study population. If your project falls into this category, please complete an application for IRB review. IRB forms.
Information about the legalities and ethics of oral history practice is available for download from the Oral History Association. Read the information carefully before you begin your project to avoid the legal dilemmas.
Kenyon College faculty, students and staff members participating in an oral history project should educate themselves with the principles and guidelines of the Oral History Association and any other professional association for the discipline your project might fall under. If you are planning, or think that you might want to, publish your project, be sure to check with likely publications/publishers/archives for their policies for acceptance of oral histories. (ethical review, certification, consent, deed of gift, etc.)
Kenyon help and guidance with oral histories are available through Digital Kenyon.
see INSTRUCTIONS, FORMS, AND TOOLKITS
See the IRB Interviews page for information on interviewing.
IRB - The Belmont Report sets forth the basic ethical principles and guidelines for the protection of human subjects in research. This was issued by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, April 18, 1979. The basic principles informing the guidelines are respect for persons, beneficence, and justice.
You should take Human Subjects Protection Training - CITI Course