***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** I had the same issue as Marya (interviewing people about organization-level data), and took a different approach. I intend to use a snowball sample approach to finding experts, and am after publicly-verifiable data, which means that the identity of the experts is also a methodological "check" on my own judgment and conclusions. So after wrangling with the IRB for a while, I said I would take an approach analogous to journalism -- not to offer either confidentiality OR anonymity. People have the option of not participating in the study without penalty, and they have the option of approving my notes from the interview (which is something no reporter should agree to!). This was just approved by my IRB. Regards, Annelies Annelies Z. Kamran Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies The Graduate Center The City University of New York 365 Fifth Avenue, Rm. 5203 New York, NY 10016 [log in to unmask] -----Original Message----- From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Marya L. Doerfel Sent: Friday, September 14, 2007 12:47 PM To: [log in to unmask] Subject: Re: IRB problems ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** I've managed a related issue with my IRB. I used snowball sampling. My IRB required that I get permission from my initial participant to mention them as the source for how I came to ask the new participant to be interviewed. My data will ultimately be organizational level data, but it was clear to my IRB that I was interviewing individuals and having names-named to expand my research. Similar to Tom's scenario, I had to make it clear that all names (and, ultimately, organizations' identities) would be changed to pseudonyms (I interviewed owners/CEOs, so if I were to name the actual organizations or businesses, it would be easy to determine the identity of the individual interviewed). Good luck- Marya -------------------------------------------------------------- Marya L. Doerfel, Ph.D. Associate Professor School of Communication, Information, & Library Studies Rutgers University 732-932-7500 x8112 _____________________________________________________________________ SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.