Additional Resources About Human Subjects Research

This page provides information on additional resources that can help participants learn about volunteering for clinical research studies. It includes a glossary of terms about clinical research in both English and Spanish. The page also provides links to other Federal offices and agencies that provide information about research and research participation, including, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the HHS Office of Research Integrity, and the National Institutes of Health. In addition, there are external links to a selection of materials from public media sources about research and research participation.

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OHRP has compiled external resources about research and research participation. These resources provide additional information and reflect a range of perspectives and experiences.

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Glossary of Terms Glossary of Human Subjects Research Terms

This link takes you to a glossary of common terms used in clinical research:

Commonly Asked Questions Explained

What is Human Subjects Research?

It is research that involves people. Investigators do research to answer questions and gain knowledge that they hope will benefit society. Investigators may do things to research participants with their agreement or ask participants to do specific activities and obtain information (such as health information) or biological samples (such as blood) from them to answer the research questions.

For example, investigators may give participants new medicines to take, collect their blood, and obtain their information to see whether the new medicine is safe and works. Investigators may also ask participants to view different images to see how they respond emotionally. These are both examples of research that involve people, or human subjects research. In addition, investigators may simply study the information or biological samples already collected from people, for example, from routine medical care.

There are different kinds of human subjects research, explore the links below to learn more!

To learn more about research and research participation, review the short videos at

You can also read the infographics at to learn more about how research participants are protected.

If you are looking for the policies and regulations of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on human subjects protections in research, check out the website at If you are looking for the regulatory definition for human subjects research, click here.

You can also find a mini-tutorial here explaining human subjects research for the purpose of NIH grant submission.

Relevant Federal Resources Federal Resources Related to Human Subjects Research

Below are links to several resources related to human subjects research from agencies in the Federal government:
Registry and database of current clinical studies.

Visit the Website»


U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Information for patients in clinical trials.

Visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Website»


U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Information on minority health with information about
participating in clinical trials. 

Visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Website»


Basic Research Concepts
On the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) website.

Visit the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) website»


National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Information about participating in clinical trials.

Visit the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website»

Media and Other Resources Media and Other Human Subjects Research Resources

Below is a selection of materials from public media sources about research and research participation.

Health News Review publishes critical analyses and reviews
using a defined set of criteria intended to promote the interests
of the general public. Visit

View This
Website »


Can Hypothermia Save Gunshot Victims?
By Nicola Twilley
The New Yorker, November 28, 2016.

View This
Article »


Do Clinical Trials Work?
By Clifton Leaf
New York Times, July 13, 2013.

View This
Article »


Twitterology: A New Science?
By Ben Zimmer
New York Times, October 29, 2011.

View This
Article »


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Content created by Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP)
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