Social Behavioral Research

Types of Social Behavioral Research

There are various considerations for different types of social-behavioral research. Each section below describes special considerations investigators may need to consider, depending on the type of research they are conducting, and the various research procedures included in the protocol.

Specific Types of Research for SBS

Using MTurk in Research

This guidance has been developed to ensure that the ethical principles of respect for persons, beneficence, and justice are being upheld for research involving MTurk Research participants. The guidance also applies to other popular survey firms such as Prolific.

Student Research

This guidance is intended for students who are conducting research and who may be unsure about whether they need to submit their research to the IRB. This guidance includes video tutorials and guidance on how to submit, when required.

Survey/Interview Research

This page provides guidance to those conducting research that involves interpersonal interactions with participants such as surveys, interviews, and focus groups.

Use of Social Media as a Research Activity

Click for guidance on collecting social media data for research purposes, such as, when you need to submit to the IRB as well as best practices for use of social media data that is not considered human subjects’ data.

Research with Penn Patients

Social behavioral research with Penn Medicine or Penn Dental patients requires consideration of other regulations and institutional policies. Please review the guidance on this page if you may be conducting research with Penn Medicine or Penn Dental patients.

Controlled Trials

A clinical trial is defined by the NIH as “a research study in which one or more human subjects are prospectively assigned to one or more interventions to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical or behavioral outcomes.” Some social-behavioral controlled trials may meet this definition. Click to read more about associated requirements for these trials.

Certificates of Confidentiality

Certificates of Confidentiality allow the investigator and others who have access to research records to refuse to disclose identifying information about research participants in any civil, criminal, administrative, legislative, or other proceeding. Click for additional information.

NIH Data Sharing Policy

This page describes associated IRB requirements related to the NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing of scientific data generated from NIH funded research. The DMS policy establishes the requirements to submit Data Management and Sharing Plans to the NIH.

Applicable State Laws in Research

Investigators are responsible for following federal, state, and local laws. This guidance describes PA and NJ state laws that may apply to different types of research.

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