Anonymous Source of Data
Academic writers have the ethical responsibility to protect their sources of data, to inform participants of how personal information will be secured, and to inform participants when anonymity cannot be safeguarded. The informed consent document, reviewed prior to data collection, conveys the appropriate information to potential participants. In this way, participants understand whether or not they will be identifiable and how this affects their decision to participate. This entry elaborates on these three points.
This encyclopedia entry is published as Coffelt, T. A. (2017). Anonymous source of data. In M. Allen (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. doi:10.4135/9781483381411.n17. Posted with permission.