The poster presented by Carlos Rodriguez and his colleagues was quite interesting. It was titled: “To IRB or Not to IRB: Librarian perceptions and the realities of involvement with Institutional Review Boards.” The authors decided to join their hospital’s IRB, thinking that they would be called upon to perform literature searches and could help avoid any tragedies due to incomplete information. However, they found themselves not doing any lit searches at all; instead they ended up being voting members who had to read reams of protocols! This is not something they had anticipated at all but are sticking with the program for now to see how it develops.

Our library has been thinking about approaching our hospital’s IRB, thinking we can help them with literature searches as well. But after seeing the authors’ experience with their IRB, I’m a bit hesitant. Are librarians qualified to be voting members of an IRB? Is it worth their time to review the protocols if no lit searches are involved? I don’t know enough to answer these questions, but am asking them anyways, hoping some of you can shed some light on the matter.

Shamsha Damani