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I am collaborating on a research project investigating the work and
innovation relations among a set of researchers / policy makers.
We have sociometric data on all actors, and intercitation/cocitation data
for a sub-sample. And as usual we promised confidentiality - here is the
relevant section of our confidentiality statement:
"Your personal information will never be used publicly, it won't be used to
evaluate you, and it won't be used for commercial purposes or provided to
third parties. Its access is restricted to Company XYZ staff bound by
confidentiality agreements. The information will be used only for improving
the network of researchers and practitioners."
We've replaced names with numerical codes in the sociometric data. But we
can show names in the citation maps since the data source - Dialog and ISI -
Now, we are ready to report our findings and find ourselves in an ethical
(1) We want to be compare the citation neighborhoods of selected focal
actors with their sociometric data
-- We can keep names in the citation data, but then we would indirectly
reveal the identities of some of the nodes in the sociometric data. Our last
resort is to remove names from the the citation data as well.
(2) The study's sponsors want to use the findings to formulate strategies,
and would be interested in the identities of some of the crucial nodes;
besides, they are considering circulating some version of the final report
to some/all members of the research network, hence our concerns.
How do we handle these issues? We would appreciate some thoughts and
strategies. I will collate all public and private responses and post it to
Thanks in advance,
sincerely, Emmanuel Koku.
Emmanuel F. Koku, PhD
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Department of Culture & Communication
Drexel University, PSA Building 47-Room 309
3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
1 - 215 - 895 - 6144
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