University of Southern California

Research

Social Science & Humanities Research Guidance

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General
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Human Subjects Research
Community / Field Research Practices

 

General

This section provides recommendations for research conducted in community‐based settings with human subjects. Principles and recommendations with broad applicability to social science and humanities research are addressed in the phase table.

Recommendations for social distancing, occupancy space constraints, hygiene, and other measures to prevent infection and protect health are consistent with those in other already described research settings.

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Archives

During Phase 3, Principal Investigators wishing to access archives, or other research involving off-campus or in community settings that does not involve contact with human subjects, must seek approval from the research dean of their school. Investigators will be expected to present a plan for the research activity to the research dean that includes a description of the safety measures in place at the off-campus sites, and measures that the investigators will take to protect themselves and other individuals at the site.

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Libraries

The USC Libraries has been actively supporting researchers during our time off campus. We haven’t stopped. We’ve been providing support to faculty to move their course content online and providing digital content and physical materials for their research as well. This link explains how the process for requesting physical materials from the USC Libraries: https://libguides.usc.edu/idd/covid-19

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Human Subjects Research

Investigators who expect to have direct interaction with human subjects in community/field settings must abide by the public health guidance/requirements issued by city, state, and other governmental agencies. If the guidance/requirements specify, for example, that a minimum of 6 (or 10) feet must be maintained, that masks are required, that a room that allows for this type of distance is used, that groups no larger than 10 congregate, those would be minimum requirements for human subjects research.

PIs will be expected to complete an attestation as part of their IRB submission process. More information on the OPRS website with respect to the nature of the attestation, the process for completing it and additional information regarding IRB requirements.

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Community / Field Research Practices

Guidelines for community / field research are found here.   For community / field research involving human subjects, PIs will be expected to complete an attestation as part of their IRB submission process and keep securely stored participant notification data in the case of a COVID-19 diagnosis among study personnel. Full details and forms are found here.

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