Data Use, Technology, and Educational Leadership
I’m cleaning up a manuscript and am entering pseudonyms for participants. Giving people new names can be fun, but it’s also a little tedious. Part of this is because you’re trying to protect someone’s identity; it’s a big responsibility. I probably also have an overly active sense of imagination regarding what a certain name might suggest about the person in question.
In some ways, it’s like trying to by someone perfume or cologne. Your senses get clogged, and you realize the whole idea was probably a mistake.
Anyways, using unisex names is one way to obscure the identity of a study participant. As Bosk (2003) recounts, things can get ethically challenging in studies where one sex greatly outnumbers the other. Obviously, you don’t want to obscure sex or gender if that’s central stuff to your research, but today I’m erring in favor of anonymity.
And a quick google search reveals tons of lists of unisex names. It’s like buying CK One instead. Here is one of them.
Bosk, C. L. (2003). Forgive and remember: Managing medical failure (2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.