KEY FEATURES: Introduces students to developing research questions and shows their importance in driving research design. Rarely taught topics, such as how to enter and clean data, offer students information missed in both research methods and statistics courses. Shows how to write up survey results for academic, business and nonprofit reports to alleviate the confusion students feel about how to write up findings. Rigorous treatment of sampling focuses on many sampling issues from probability theory to weighting. Offers the process of actually conducting a survey with advice on administering surveys, incentives, and improving response rates.

What Are Confidentiality and Anonymity, and How Are They Maintained?

Erin Ruel

Confidentiality and anonymity are two possible ways that researchers can maintain the privacy of research participants. Anonymity is when participants’ names are not linked in any way to the survey data. Perhaps a unique number is created to be used on each survey to indicate a person, but even the researchers do not know which person that number represents. Anonymity is possible only with cross-sectional designs.

But if we want to keep track of who has participated and who still needs to participate, confidentiality may be the better option. “Confidentiality” means that the researchers may be able to link participants to the survey data, but no one else can. And the link does not ...

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