Institutional Review Board Approval

You may wish to consult with your school’s Institutional Review Board or research office about this project and find out from them if you need to obtain their approval for your school’s participation in SAILS. If approval is required, you must obtain that approval before you can start testing. To assist you with that process, below is sample language for IRB approval.

Sample Language for IRB Approval Form

This text is intended to get you started with your IRB application. You will need to modify the content as appropriate for your institution.

Summary of Project

The purpose of this study is to identify information literacy competency levels for students at XXXX institution. The information collected will help librarians and administrators understand what information literacy skills students have and where additional instruction may be helpful.

Students will participate in large-scale data collection with the instrument. No additional input will be sought from these students beyond the completion of the instrument.

Characteristics of the Population

The population for this study is undergraduate students.

Benefits to Be Gained

The researchers expect the results of this project to help answer the questions: “What are our students’ strengths and weaknesses in regard to information literacy?” and “What information literacy instruction is needed to help students be successful?” At a time when universities and colleges funnel increasing resources into information literacy programs, there is a need to determine if these programs are making a difference. Libraries need valid and reliable methods of assessing the impact of their instruction programs over time. Benefits to subjects include assisting the researchers in improving the teaching of information literacy skills at this institution.

How Data Will Be Used

Data will be used to inform the institution’s library regarding the information literacy skills of undergraduates at that institution. Data from several institutions, including this one, will be compiled into a database. For cohort test administrations, each institution will receive reports of their institution’s performance as well as comparative information about the entire group of institutions. No individual student data will be reported or made available to anyone outside of the Project SAILS team. Project SAILS will have no identifying information about any student. Data may also be used for presentation at professional conferences and publication of refereed articles in professional journals.