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Participant anonymity in the Internet age: from theory to practice

Saunders, Benjamin, Kitzinger, Jenny ORCID: and Kitzinger, Celia 2015. Participant anonymity in the Internet age: from theory to practice. Qualitative Research in Psychology 12 (2) , pp. 125-137.

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Qualitative researchers attempting to protect the identities of their research participants now face a multitude of new challenges due to the wealth of information once considered ‘private’ but now readily accessible online. We will draw on our research with family members of people with severe brain injury to discuss these challenges in relation to three areas: (1) participant engagement with the mass media; (2) the availability of court transcripts online; and (3) participants’ use of social media. We suggest strategies for managing these challenges via disguise, refining informed consent and discussion with interviewees. In the context of a largely theoretical literature on anonymisation, this paper offers concrete examples of the challenges we faced and will be of illustrative use to other researchers confronting similar challenges.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1478-0887
Funders: Wellcome Trust (seedcorn)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 06:15

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