UW Research


“Repository” can be used to refer to data banks, tissue banks, and databases – which can also include “Registries”. It is a collection of any kind of data or specimens taken from humans that will be used for research purposes, including potential recruitment or involvement in research, and typically for more than one study.

Repositories may be open-ended in terms of time and purpose. Although they may have a general intended use (for example, the study of prostate cancer or the study of childhood development of speech and hearing), they may also support specific research hypotheses. Separate research activities/studies that make use of data or specimens from the repository require their own IRB review – separate from the review of the application to establish the repository itself.

Materials for repositories can come from a variety of sources, including data from other UW and non-UW researchers, existing public and private records, non-researcher clinicians and service providers (e.g., physicians, teachers, social workers), as well as directly from research subjects (e.g., residual specimens, data that would be routinely collected, as well as data or specimens collected by the repository). The data may already exist, in which case the data to be used in research are collected retrospectively, or may be collected prospectively.