Any OCAD U research that involves living human participants or human biological materials (whether from living or deceased individuals) must be reviewed and approved by the Research Ethics Board (REB) of the university. Research projects or pilots (including student projects/training, feasibility studies, etc.) conducted under the auspices of OCAD U and using human participants require ethics approval before the research may begin.
Whether the research is unfunded or funded, whether the funding is internal or external, or whether the research will or will not be submitted for publication, ethics approval is required for research by or involving:
- OCAD U personnel (e.g., full- or part-time academic or non-academic staff, undergraduates, graduate students, post-docs, visiting or adjunct scholars, paid or unpaid assistants or associates);
- Paid or unpaid participants (including participants from OCAD U, outside OCAD U, or outside of Canada);
- Secondary resources, records outside the public domain, or naturalistic observations (sources that might allow identification of individuals who have not been given the opportunity for free and informed consent); and
- OCAD U resources (e.g., space, equipment, human resources)
Research that uses human participants but does not require an ethics review includes:
- Research that relies on information that is legally accessible to the public and appropriately protected by law;
- Research that relies on information that is publicly accessible and there is no reasonable expectation of privacy;
- Research that uses publicly available information (e.g., public policy issues, artistic criticism, records, works, archival material) or third party interviews about a live public figure (e.g. an artist). However, research about public figures does require ethics review if an individual is approached directly for an interview or for access to private papers;
- Assessment measures that are part of normal educational requirements, quality assurance, performance review or testing; and
- Naturalistic observations in which the participants seek public visibility (i.e., political rallies, demonstrations, public meetings).
If there is any question as to whether or not a particular research project requires ethics review, the research should be submitted for ethics review.