What is research?

Question

What is research?

Answer

Research is defined in the federal regulations about Institutional Review Board (IRB) oversight as “a systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge” [45 CFR 46.102 (d)]. It can be qualitative or quantitative in nature or employ mixed research methods. Several categories of projects are generally considered non-research and would ordinarily be exempt from IRB oversight, including: (1) quality assurance studies, (2) evidence-based practice improvement, (3) marketing studies, (4) project implementations, (5) product or program evaluation studies, and (6) institutional research. Most capstone models at WGU fall into these categories and are exempt. However, when these projects employ atypical methodology, deal with vulnerable populations or relations, investigate sensitive topics, or put subjects at risk, IRB oversight may be required (see Student Handbook IRB Policy).

 

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