Webinar: Is This Public or Private? Determining Review Requirements for Research Conducted Online and In-Person

January 16, 2020 | 1:00-2:15 PM ET

View the webinar recording:


Determining whether a behavior or activity is considered “public” or “private”—whether online or in-person—poses ethical and operational dilemmas for IRBs and researchers. Expectations around the right to privacy and perceptions of public spaces or behaviors may differ among individuals and cultures. What factors help determine whether something is public or private? Do IRBs and researchers ever have an obligation to disclose that research is occurring in what some might consider the public domain? How can one determine whether such research requires full IRB review, is exempt, or whether it constitutes human subjects research to begin with? During this webinar, speakers will explore the ethical issues surrounding these questions as well as related IRB determinations, considerations, informed consent requirements, HRPP policies, and more.


  • Research involving online behavior
    • Definitions and ethical considerations for public vs. private behavior
    • Case examples
    • IRB determinations, informed consent, and development of HRPP policies and SOPs
  • Research involving in-person behavior
    • Definitions and ethical considerations for public vs. private behavior
    • Case examples
    • IRB determinations, informed consent, and development of HRPP policies and SOPs

Learning Objectives

After attending this webinar, attendees will be able to do the following as it relates to research conducted in spaces online and in-person:

  • Interpret rules, regulations, and cultural norms for what constitutes public vs. private behaviors
  • Discuss IRB determinations and considerations for informed consent
  • Strategize around development of related HRPP policies and SOPs

Who should attend?

The intended audience for this webinar is IRB and HRPP personnel, including institutional leaders of these groups. Research personnel and others in research administration may also benefit from attending.

Continuing Education

Webinar participants holding the Certified IRB Professional (CIP®) credential may apply 1.25 continuing education credits towards CIP recertification. Learn More »

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Danielle GriffinDanielle Griffin is the associate director for the Research Integrity and Oversight office at the University of Houston. Danielle oversees the daily operations of the IRB staff and committees and conducts continuing education for the IRB team, IRB members, and investigators. Danielle has worked and held leadership roles in the field of human research protections for over 13 years at three major public universities in their IRB offices. Before joining the University of Houston in 2016, she was the IRB manager and coordinator of postapproval monitoring at Texas A&M University, where she developed and implemented the university’s postapproval monitoring program. She specializes in training and education and privacy policies. Her background in microbiology doing laboratory stem cell research led to her work in human research protections. As she progressed in her career, she continued to advance her education and earned her Doctorate of Education in organizational leadership with an emphasis in organizational development. In addition to her passion for research ethics, privacy, and data security, Danielle is passionate about helping professionals and aspiring leaders to design their career ladders and determine paths for career progression.

Cheri PetteyCheri Pettey is managing director of Ethics, Education, and Compliance at the University of Chicago Social and Behavioral Sciences IRB office. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Cheri was a quality improvement specialist at The Ohio State University. Cheri is a Certified IRB Professional, earned a BA in Philosophy and a MA in English from Northern Illinois University, holds a paralegal certificate from Capital University Law School, and is currently pursuing a MA in Bioethics at Ohio State.

Additional Resources

A collection of relevant readings accompany each PRIM&R webinar. Groups that register for webinars receive a discussion guide containing thought-provoking questions and facilitation tips to help facilitate use of the webinar as an educational tool for IRBs.


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Nonmember $200
Group rates
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Nonmember $400


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