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When I upload my consent document to myIRB, why do I get an error message about the approval stamp?

There are a few possible reasons:

  • First, check to make sure that you started by opening the Consent Document template from the myIRB system. This template has the IRB stamp already included in it. If you use a template from another source, the IRB stamp is not included. Next, if you opened the myIRB template, check to make sure that you saved the document as an .RTF file. Changing the document to .DOC or .DOCX file will cause you to lose the IRB stamp.  Re-saving the file in .RTF format should resolve the issue.
  • If using a Macintosh, you may have a compatibility issue. The myIRB stamped templates are compatible when running Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac with Update 11.3.3 or a later version of Microsoft Office for Mac. For more information about this or other updates refer to: http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads.
  • Additionally, the Mac must be set to open and save the stamped template as a .RTF file. Typically, the default setting on a Mac is to open .RTF files using a text editor (such as Macintosh Editor or WordPad), but the stamp can only retain its functionality when opened using a full word processor like Microsoft Word. It may help to download the template without opening it, save it to your Mac, open Microsoft Office for Mac then navigate to the template and open it.
  • If the above suggestions do not relieve the problem, you may want to visit the support page for Microsoft Office for Mac at http://www.microsoft.com/mac/support. Or if you have Mac support, you may want to visit http://www.apple.com/support/ to contact the Genius Bar (the Apple Product user support service).

If you have followed the recommendations above and continue to receive the error, it’s possible the tokens that allow the stamp to work have been damaged.  Refer to the directions for Replacing a Damaged myIRB Approval Stamp.