"*Pseudonyms are used throughout": A footnote, unpacked

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Abstract

Pseudonyms are often used to de-identify participants and other people, organizations and places mentioned in interviews and other textual data collected for research purposes. While this is commonplace, the rationale for, and limits of, using pseudonyms or other methods to disguise identifying information are seldom explained in empirical works. Following an illustrated outline of pseudonyms, epithets, codenames and other obscurant techniques used in the social sciences and humanities, this paper considers how they variously frame the identities of, and position the relations between, participants and researchers. It suggests ways in which researchers might improve on current practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Early online date30 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • anonymity
  • confidentiality
  • naming practices
  • pseudonymous data
  • research ethics

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