“An institutional review board (IRB), also known as an independent ethics committee (IEC), ethical review board (ERB), or research ethics board (REB), is a type of committee that applies research ethics by reviewing the methods proposed for research to ensure that they are ethical. Such boards are formally designated to approve (or reject), monitor, and review biomedical and behavioral research involving humans. They often conduct some form of risk-benefit analysis in an attempt to determine whether or not research should be completed. The purpose of the IRB is to assure that appropriate steps are taken to protect the rights and welfare of humans participating as subjects in a research study. Along with developed countries, many developing countries have established National, regional or local Institutional Review Boards in order to safeguard ethical conduct of research concerning both national and international norms, regulations or codes.” — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institutional_review_board
BOTTOM LINE: If you want your clinical trial or study to qualify for publication in a peer reviewed journal you must FIRST have your Protocol approved by an IRB. The work of the IRB, to assure that proper ethical standards are maintained and that the safety and informed consent rights of participants are respected, must occur prior to the start of the clinical trial or study.