The Regulatory Citation and How It Applies:
“Research involving the use of educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), survey procedures, interview procedures or observation of public behavior that is not exempt under paragraph (b)(s) of this section, unless:
(i) the human subjects are elected or appointed public officials or candidates for public office;
(ii) federal statues(s) require(s) without exception that the confidentiality of the personally identifiable information will be maintained throughout the research and thereafter.” (§46.101(b)(3))
Part (i) includes the research procedures previously described in Category 2, but holds public servants (i.e., public officials and candidates for public office) to a different privacy standard by not requiring that the data be collected anonymously, and is not concerned with any risks that may result from the disclosure of the data. This category does not apply to public employees such as managers and staff in public agencies/offices.
Examples of Research Exempt under Category 3:
- A study that includes interviewing town mayors about their religious beliefs and views on the separation of church and state.
- A study of candidates for the State Legislature that includes intelligence tests and interview questions about their finances, past employment, and drug use.
Examples of Research NOT Exempt under Category 3:
- A study that includes interviewing courthouse staff who process license plate renewals about their religious beliefs and views on the separation of church and state.