At its October 2015 meeting, the NEHA Executive Board unanimously voted to endorse the statement of the National Coalition for History in support of the position advocated by the Oral History Association, the American Historical Association and other professional organizations of historians regarding proposed revisions to the Federal Policy for Protection of Human Subjects in research that involves oral history. Their statement submitted during the public comment period, to which NEHA is now a signatory, reads as follows:
Public Statement on Oral History and Human Subjects Regulation
American Historical Association
November 12, 2015
The US Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies have proposed a rule to exclude oral history from federal regulations designed to protect human subjects. The American Historical Association supports this proposed exclusion and appreciates the department’s consideration of self-regulation by historians. Individuals in any discipline who plan to do oral history interviews should follow the practices and ethical codes developed by the Oral History Association (see http://www.oralhistory.org/about/principles-and-practices/). These principles and codes aim to protect the interests of narrators (e.g., by requiring informed consent) while encouraging the creation of invaluable historical records.