Review Policy

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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Policy for Paper Submissions

Policy Statement

The Association for Health Learning and Inference (AHLI) conference organizers recognize the essential role of Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) in ensuring the ethical conduct of research involving human participants. As a premier international conference, we uphold the highest standards of research integrity and ethical responsibility. Consequently, our policy requires explicit IRB approval, exemption, or a clear statement of non-applicability from a legitimate IRB for all research submissions involving human subjects.

IRB Approval Requirement

  1. Necessity of IRB Evaluation

Authors must consult their IRB or equivalent ethics committee to determine whether their research requires review. If any question arises during the review process about the need for IRB approval, it indicates that an IRB should be involved in making this determination.

  1. Submission Requirements 

Our call for papers will clearly state that research involving human participants must include:

  • An IRB approval number.
  • A statement of exemption issued by an IRB.
  • A rationale for non-applicability of IRB review, if appropriate.
  1. Right to Reject 

The conference reserves the right to reject any submission where there is a reasonable belief that IRB approval is needed and has not been obtained or adequately documented.

  1. Ethical Standards 

Submissions must demonstrate adherence to ethical standards, including but not limited to:

  • Ensuring no adverse psychological effects on participants.
  • Confirming that participation was entirely voluntary and devoid of undue influence.
  1. Unacceptable Claims

Assertions within submissions that state no IRB approval is required solely based on the authors’ evaluation of risk to participants will not be accepted. IRB or equivalent bodies are the appropriate authority to make such determinations.

  1. Language and Communication:

While sensitive to language barriers, the conference emphasizes the importance of clear communication regarding ethical considerations. Authors are encouraged to seek assistance in conveying the necessary information accurately.

IRB Approval Timing and Post-Hoc Approval

  1. Timing of Approval

IRB approval, or the determination of exemption or non-applicability, must be obtained prior to the commencement of research. 

  1. Post-Hoc Approval

The conference will not accept post-hoc IRB approval as meeting the ethical requirements for research submissions. This aligns with standard practices in the U.S. and serves to maintain the integrity of the conference standards globally.

  1. International Standards

While recognizing that IRB protocols may vary internationally, our policy respects the need for prior approval in all jurisdictions. We encourage international researchers to engage with their local IRBs or equivalent to ensure compliance.

Implementation

This IRB policy will be prominently displayed in the call for papers and on the conference website. It is the responsibility of all authors to familiarize themselves with these requirements and adhere to them without exception. Failure to comply will result in the rejection of the submission without the possibility of appeal on IRB-related grounds.

This policy is established to ensure that all research involving human subjects presented at the conference is conducted ethically and in accordance with the universally respected principle of prior and proper IRB review.