Middlebury

original research: systematic investigation, including pilot projects and feasibility studies, designed for the purpose of expanding knowledge or understanding, including the collection and analysis of data from questionnaires, observation, manipulation, sampling, experimentation, etc. Research using human subjects, even if it is simply verifying existing hypotheses, theses, theories, or ideas, is considered original research.

For the purposes of this policy, the following are not considered “original research” and thus do not fall under the purview of the IRB:

  • works dealing entirely with secondary sources (public data sets are considered such secondary sources)
  • activities where human subjects perform exclusively for instructional purposes (though the intent or effort to publish data from such activities—at any time—converts these activities to original research involving human subjects)
  • data gathering for the purposes of fundraising by the external affairs offices; market research for the purposes of admissions recruiting; recruiting efforts for faculty or staff; statistical data collected for the management of institutional affairs; and attitudinal research of alumni, students, or parents
  • journalism
  • information collected for entertainment purposes

Individual student research projects (including 500, 555, 600, 700 projects), even if conducted as part of the institutional curriculum, are subject to the same guidelines as other scholarship (i.e., are original research) and require review.