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Institutional Review Board (IRB): Readability Reports

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When do I need a readability report?

You are required to provide a readability report for the following documents (if applicable to your study):

What is the readability requirement?

Adult Participants

For participants age 18 or older, the required readability level is grade 10 or below on the Flesch-Kincaid or Consensus scales.

This readability requirement is intended for the general adult population and seeks to maximize accessibility and comprehension across varying levels of education and literacy. In specific circumstances, the NCU IRB will accept higher readability scores given an appropriate justification based on the education level of the participants or other factors. In addition, the NCU IRB may require lower readability scores for similar reasons.

**The IRB members check in general if the readability level is commensurate with the reading level of the participants. Teachers or leaders in business may have a higher reading level and that is appropriate.

Minor Participants

For participants under the age of 18, the required readability level, on the Flesch-Kincaid or consensus scales, is 3 grades below the age of the youngest participant.

How do I get a readability score?

You get a readability score by using a readability calculator. You can choose from the following readability calculators:

To save your readability score, you will take an image or screenshot, save the image as a file (jpg., etc.), and upload that file into your IRB application: 

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