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Oral History

The US Office for Human Research Protection, part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), working in conjunction with the American Historical Association and the Oral History Association, has determined that oral history interviewing projects in general do not involve the type of research defined by HHS regulations and are therefore excluded from Institutional Review Board oversight. This determination was based primarily on the grounds that oral history interviews are usually not designed to contribute to "generalizable knowledge."

If a researcher with an oral history project is unsure whether his/her research meets the criteria for exclusion or, alternatively, should be reviewed by the IRB, he/she should contact the Chair of the IRB for clarification.