ok, so I left off the last part of the post. I was asking if the IRB is current with online research, virtual communities, etc? Do they have any information in this area where one can go read about it? I ask becasue the Internet is really a hot bed for research and I do not know much about the IRB but do know you have to get past them. It would be nice to think that they are well versed in all aspects of research as it evolves.
While there are common guidelines, members of IRB committees rotate so some members may have more e-research background than others. I advocate for very clear explanations of the research design and intentions so anyone can understand it.
The CITI Modules include one on Internet Research that includes some basic aspects of Internet research ethics.