Operational Definitions of terms for the IPSF pertaining to the International Rules

One must be articulate on the operational definitions of terms used for the IPSF filing of forms. Be sure to read below. More terms will be posted later.
1. Alternatives- substitutes for the use of vertebrate animals in student research.
2. Animal Care Supervisor- an individual who is knowledgeable in the proper care and handling of the animals involved in a research project.
3. Anonymity- involves collecting research data in such a way that it is impossible to connect research data (e.g., responses, questionnaires) with the individual who provided the data. That is, personal identifiers (e.g., names, birthdates, social security numbers) are not collected or linked with the data.
4. common Laboratory Animal- an animal specifically bred and raised for laboratory experimentation including rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, and rabbits.
5. Confidentiality- involves taking careful measures to insure that the research data and/or responses are not disclosed to the public or unauthorized individuals with identifiable information (e.g., names, social security numbers) that links the data with a specific individual or group of individuals.
6. Continuation- any project in the same field of study from a previous year's project. This project must document that the additional research is new and different from previous work.
7. Controlled Substances- any substance controlled by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, or Food and Drug Administration including those which are illegal for use by minors.
8. Designated Supervisor- an adult properly trained in the specific procedures used in the investigation who is directly responsible for overseeing/supervising the student experimentation.
9. Display and Safety Committee- a group of qualified individuals responsible for checking compliance of exhibits with display and safety rules.
10. End Date- the complete date (month, day, year) when laboratory experimentation ceases and/or the date when the allowable twelve month research period stops.
11. Euthanasia- mode or act of termination of life painlessly or as a relief from pain by approved/acceptable methods as defined in the ISEF Rules. Only the qualified scientist or an institutional representative may perform euthanasia.
12. Hazardous substance- any dangerous chemical, equipment, or radioactive material that exposes a researcher or research subject to risk or harm.
13. Human Subject- a person about whom an investigator ( professional or student) conducting research obtains data through: (1) active or passive intervention or interaction with the person or, (2) a source of identifiable private information.
14. Identifiable Information- any information that could be used to identify a subject or subjects as participating in a research study. Basic identifiers include names, social security numbers, birth dates, and phone numbers. In some situations, variables such as race and ethnicity may identify a subject when there are very few individuals of a particular race in the sample.
15. Informed Consent- the process of obtaining information to the subject (and where applicable, parents or guardians) about the risks and benefits associated with participation in the research study and allows the subject (and where applicable, parents or guardians) to make an educated decision about whether or not to participate. Informed consent is an on-going process, not a single event that ends with a signature on a page. It must incorporate procedures that do not involve coercion or deception. Informed consent is required for the following:
  • Psychological and opinion studies
  • Behavioral observations
  • Participation in physical activities with more than minimal risks
  • Studies in which the researcher is the subject of the research
16. Institutional Laboratory- a formal, established laboratory within an academic, commercial, medical, or government setting, but not in the home or high school.
17. Institutional Review Board (IRB)- a committee of specific composition at an affiliated fair, high school or institutional that reviews research plans and consent forms to evaluate potential physical or psychological risk of research involving human subjects.
18. LD50- a dose that is lethal for 50 percent of the test subjects or death loss of 50 percent of the animals due to the experimental procedure. LD (lethal dose or death rate) should be calculated in each subgroup designated by the experimental design as well as for the experiment.
19. Pathogenic Agents- disease-causing or potentially disease-causing agents.
20. Plagiarism- the offering of another's work as one's own by copying, imitating, forging stealing, etc.
21. Potential Pathogen-any organism that has or may have the latent ability to cause disease in humans, non-human animals or plants.
22. Qualified Scientist- an individual who possesses (1) an earned doctoral degree in science or medicine or (2) a master's degree with equivalent experience and/or expertise, and who has a working knowledge of the techniques to be used by the student.
23. Recombinant DNA- According to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines, recombinant DNA molecules are either: (1) molecules that are constructed outside living cells by joining natural or synthetic DNA segments to DNA molecules that can repolicate in a living cell or (2) DNA molecules that result from the replication of those described in 1.
24. Registered Research Institution- a scientific or medical facility or organization involved in the study and investigation of scientific, medical or engineering topics such as university laboratories, NIH, medical centers, pharmaceutical firms, private foundations and which are registered for grant application with the US federal government.
25. Regulated Research Institution- is defined as a professional research/teaching institution that is regularly inspected by a responsible agency and is licensed to use animals covered by the animal welfare act.
26. Research Report- final written report, which describes the research project.
27. Risk- the potential for psychological or physical harm to human subjects as a result of participation in research project. Risks may be physical in nature (e.g., fatigue, illness, injury, death) or psychological in nature (e.g., emotional stress, invasion of privacy, breech of confidentiality).
28. Scientific Fraud or Misconduct- the act of misleading or deceiving others by intentionally falsifying scientific data or statements as research or by misbehavior or improper actions.
29. Scientific Review Committee (SRC)- a group of qualified individuals that is responsible for evaluation of student research, certifications, research plans, and exhibits for compliance with the ISEF International Rules and Guidelines.
30. Start Date- the date (month, day, year) on which actual experimentation and data collection in a project begins, excluding a literature search.


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