I'm working with a non-profit organization at the moment and we're planning to conduct a survey on ~93,000 to find certain attitudes and the correlation associated with them. We're hoping on having our results being published in a reputable journal if possible, because we've done a lot of research and background reading to have a pretty solid study design written down. Is it necessary for us to have IRB approval to publish in a reputable Psychology/Educational academic journal? Additionally, even if it's not explicitly stated in the manuscript guidelines, are there "unspoken" rules about stating IRB approval before submission?

1 Answer 1


Most reputable journals in fields that involve human subjects research require that authors state (often in the article itself) that the study received approval from an IRB or the national equivalent in some other country.

As researchers that aren't affiliated with an organization that has its own IRB, you're in a bit of a bind. There are independent Review Boards that can be contracted to provide oversight of research conducted outside of a normal institutional setting. These are used for example in some drug company sponsored clinical trials. You would have to contract with such an IRB to have your project reviewed and supervised.

  • Super thanks for the response! I've been exploring online and found that some Independent researchers can obtain IRB approval by "borrowing" another institution's IRB? Is that a recommended course of action, or just plane crazy complicated? Thanks again!
    – Jllin
    Oct 23, 2015 at 1:59
  • Most institutions have policies that they won't handle proposals from researchers with no affiliation to the institution. This would be a waste of institutional resources and also the IRB would have no effective way of stopping research that went beyond what the IRB approved. The IRB couldn't effectively supervise the research. My own institution refuses to review proposals unless some faculty or staff member (or student under faculty supervision) is conducting the research. Oct 23, 2015 at 2:48

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