Qualitative research and institutional review boards Academic Article uri icon


  • Although it is not their intention, institutional review boards (IRBs) often impede the conduct of studies that are not conventional and/or experimental designs. As a consequence, studies that are qualitative, participatory action research, action research, postmodern, and/or critical theorist in orientation often undergo endless revisions as IRBs seek to make them appear more conventional. Among the reasons for this are lack of training in alternative epistemologies and/or paradigms for conducting research, lack of understanding the kinds of data that will be generated by these studies, and occasionally, prejudice on the part of members of the boards regarding what constitutes sound research. Several actual case studies are reported, and a variety of strategies for addressing IRBs concerns are proposed.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Lincoln, Y. S., & Tierney, W. G.

citation count

  • 143

complete list of authors

  • Lincoln, YS||Tierney, WG

publication date

  • January 2004