Making qualitative research nonidentifiable
The aim of redaction is to remove identifying information whist retaining as much usefulness as possible. The concepts are similar to de-identification of structured data, but the application to text often requires more manual intervention.
Principles to keep in mind:
- Avoid ‘blacked out’ redaction
- Replace with altered or summary information
- Keep linkages intact by applying pseudonyms, aggregate nouns, and categories consistently
- Clearly indicate altered sections
- Document the list of de-identification rules, both for yourself, or for your team should you collaborate
Adapted from managing qualitative data module3b under a CC BY-SA license.