Ethics

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TEACHING ETHICS THROUGHOUT THE CURRICULUM

Case 40. Data Sharing and Potential Future Uses

Situation

Jose Coronado has been funded to conduct a study of marital satisfaction among couples. The study is cross-sectional because of funding limitations. Coronado anticipates re-interviewing the couples in the future, if funding is available. The funding source for Coronado's cross-sectional study requires him to archive the data for other's use. Coronado is concerned that potential participants in the study will decline to take part if they know other researchers may use the data. He is also concerned about low response rates if  he tells them that he might want to interview them again. Coronado discusses his concerns with a colleague. After the discussion, he decides to tell potential participants during the consent process that he will make data from the study available to other researchers who might want to use it, without disclosing their identity. He also plans to tell potential participants that there is a possibility he may interview them again in the future; thus, he will keep their names, addresses, and other identifiers so that he can contact them and link the information he collects now with that he collects later.

Questions

    li> Has Coronado taken appropriate steps to protect the confidentiality of participants?
  1. Is it necessary for Coronado to tell participants about archiving data and recontacting them for interview at the outset?
Reflect on the above questions and form your own answers before clicking the discussion key to review the commentary provided with this case.

 

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