Definitions for Research Involving Human Participants

“Anonymous” means that the name or other identifying characteristics of participants will not be disclosed. Data are considered anonymous if there are no identifying names, numbers or symbols through which anyone, including the investigator, could connect individual responses with a specific participant. Video or photographic records are not anonymous.

“Confidentiality” means that the identity of the individual providing information to the researcher will not be revealed and will remain secret, unless otherwise required or permitted by law.

“Conflict of Interest” means a situation in which the interests of an individual affiliated with Edgewood College, acting within his or her authority on behalf of the College, a) might affect or reasonably appear to affect institutional processes for the conduct, review or oversight of human subjects research; or b) might compromise or have the appearance of compromising the individual’s professional judgment in conducting or reporting research (e.g., simultaneously being a project advisor or principal investigator for a proposal and serving on the HPRB).

“IRB Approval” means the determination of the IRB, following its review of research; the research may be conducted at Edgewood College within the constraints set forth by institutional and federal requirements. The IRB shall have the authority to suspend research that is not being conducted in accordance with the IRB's requirements.

“Human Participant” means a living individual about whom an investigator conducting research obtains (1) data through intervention or interaction with the individual or (2) identifiable private information.

“Informed Consent” refers to a person's freely given choice to participate in a research project based on full knowledge and understanding of relevant aspects of the project and its implications for the participants’ welfare. 

“Intervention” means manipulations of the participant or participant’s environment that are conducted for research purposes including any physical procedures for which data are collected.

“Legally Authorized Representative” means an individual authorized under applicable law to consent on behalf of a prospective research subject to the subject’s participation in procedure(s) involved in a research study.

“Minimal Risk” means that the probability and magnitude of harm or discomfort anticipated in the research is not greater in and of itself than those ordinarily encountered in daily life or during the performance of routine physical or psychological examinations or tests.

“Professional Competence” means a person who has been a principal investigator conducting research projects either qualitative and/or quantitative in nature.

“Research” means a systematic investigation, including design, data collection, analysis and dissemination of findings, intended to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.

“Vulnerable Populations” refer to participants of a study who are likely to be vulnerable to coercion or undue influence, for example: children (including disabled children), prisoners, pregnant women, mentally disabled persons, or others. In these circumstances, additional safeguards must be included in the study to protect the rights and welfare of these participants.

For additional information please see: Vogt, Paul W.  Dictionary of Statistics and Methodology.  Sage Publications.


The Institutional Review Board is always available to answer any questions investigators may have.

To contact the IRB please use the following information:

Edgewood College IRB
1000 Edgewood College Drive
Madison, WI 53711

David Lambert
David Lambert
Associate Professor, Psychology / IRB Administrator
Ashley Holland
Ashley Holland
Associate Professor, Psychology / IRB Chair