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This question comes up frequently in social network research - who "owns" the relationship, the (consented) respondent, the (non-consented) alter or both? It is pretty common to simply provide the list, and then remove non-consented alters after the fact and/or anonymize any results, as others have suggested.  

If you have ethical concerns about providing the list at all, and you have a good way to communicate with all the potential participants, one way I have dealt with similar issues in the past is to offer an "opt-out" period for individuals to request that their name be removed from the survey instrument before it is ever distributed. I have only used this in cases where being identified on the list would not pose any risk other than what would normally be encountered anyway. Presumably, if you have a relatively small group of adults working in a non-stigmatized profession, minimal risk would apply. This gives people the option not to be included in the research, while retaining the possibility of fixed choice if that's important for your study design. 

Best, 
Brooke

On Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 2:22 AM, Pachilova, Rosica <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
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Dear all,

 

I am applying for ethical approval to conduct a social network analysis in a hospital department. I would like to run an online survey including all staff members and ask participants to indicate up to 25 people they communicate and rate the frequency and type of interaction. It was drawn to my attention that I might have an issue with this, as individuals may not wish to consent but their name would still appear in the survey list.

 

Could you please advise how I could go around this issue?

 

All the best,

Rosica


Rosica Pachilova 
PhD Researcher
University College London

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