Why does an IRB need an analysis plan?
My IRB has updated its forms since the last time I submitted an application, and I just saw this section, which I think is new (emphasis added by me):
Analysis: Explain how the data will be analyzed or studied (i.e. quantitatively or qualitatively and what statistical tests you plan on using). Explain how the interpretation will address the research questions. (Attach a copy of the data collection instruments).
What statistical tests I plan on using?
My first thought was “mission creep,” but I want to keep an open mind. Are there some statistical tests that are more likely to do harm to the human subjects who provided the data? Has anybody ever been given syphilis by a chi-square test? If I do a median split, am I damaging anything more than my own credibility? (“What if there are an odd number of subjects? Are you going to have to saw a subject in half?”)
Seriously though, is there something I’m missing?