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No, even if the employee learns of suspected child abuse through research meant to help children (for example, in sex trafficking, parenting, and drug-related research).
In certain limited cases of anticipated research, OSU may proactively seek agreement from the relevant District Attorney not to prosecute researchers for failure to report. Talk to your Department Head and the OSU Research Office Institutional Review Board (IRB) Administrator, who can work with your Dean, the Vice President for Research, and the Office of General Counsel in these efforts. It is unclear how successful these attempts will be, especially in cases involving children in multiple counties across the state.
Please contact the OSU IRB Administrator about what notification of reporting requirements you will need to give your research subjects.