Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

“Protecting” or “Policing”: Academic Researchers’ View of IRBs in an Arab Context

Makhoul, Jihad; El-Alti, Leila; Qutteina, Yara; Nasrallah, Catherine; Sakr, Carol; Nakkash, Rima; Alali, Khalid


Jihad Makhoul

Yara Qutteina

Catherine Nasrallah

Carol Sakr

Rima Nakkash

Khalid Alali


A recent surge of research universities and human subjects research funding in the Arab world raises concerns about applied research ethics and oversight. In-depth interviews conducted with 52 researchers in Lebanon and Qatar about their research conduct and the problems they face while conducting it indicate that although researchers admit to the added value of institutional review board (IRB) functions, the researchers have several complaints, such as rigid and contextually insensitive requirements, delays, and inadequate resources at IRBs, and a lack of outreach and effective communication with researchers. The study discusses these challenges pointing to the need for socioculturally adaptive regulations and forms and strengthening outreach and communication between IRBs and their users to improve ethical practices. Implications for future research are also presented.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Oct 7, 2014
Publication Date 2014-12
Deposit Date Nov 7, 2022
Journal Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics
Print ISSN 1556-2646
Electronic ISSN 1556-2654
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 5
Pages 25-35
Keywords IRB, challenges, research ethics, researchers’ experience, Arab world, qualitative methods, humans subjects research
Public URL