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Transcript redaction

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

Safely redact transcript information by replacing text with category information, pseudonyms, aggregate nouns, or broad descriptive summaries. Clearly mark which sections are changed.

Adapted from managing qualitative data module3b under a CC BY-SA license.

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