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Ethics and Confidentiality and personal story in the third person

Posted Nov 24 2010 12:00am
There is a conference presentation that has done the rounds, maybe is still doing it, where one of the slides contains a quotation from one of the "anonymous" participants in the research.

I have seen this three times now, and each time, there is a certain tension in that the presenter has indicated that the author of that comment may well be in the audience. Indeed the author of that comment has a certain linguistic style that makes it somewhat unlikely that anyone else would have expressed the same sentiment in that particular way. I don't think the author really worries about that, but he (and it is a he, since the "anonymous" does possess a pair of bollox last time I looked) does consider every time just how confidential research can be private parts notwithstanding.

The participant in question has recently been getting accustomed to writing of himself in the third person, as this is apparently proper academic procedure, but at times he does also think bollox to that and all because his research cannot possibly have originated in a situation other than the one he finds himself in, and if you follow the link to this particular authors other blog you will see the connection there.

Sometimes anonymity is not the best thing, because the personal is political (I forget who said that, nobody is perfect) and in writing up my research it is personal.

However elsewhere on the internet the researcher can be found as participant, and not as anonymous to those who know his various internet moniker, as he ought to be.

 Indeed for those who know where to look there is a complete medical history of a particular neurological syndrome including private emails.

Anyway this researcher would not actually be engaged in this endeavour at all had he been more satisfied with his experiences as a volunteer participant generally for he has figured in more than a couple of Cambridge's more well known studies, and so plays his own little part in the construction of that particular perspective on autism whether he approves of it or not. Damn it he is even using some of that research to partially ground parts of his own study. Well that is intertextuality for you.

He has helped at least one person to their doctorate and has a good feeling about that where he has been interested in the research at more than just a casual level of a trip to Cambridge and all expenses inadequately paid. The best of research has involved a couple of drinks in the pub afterwards, I am afraid that doesn't happen at Cambridge to my knowlege. I doubt it often does at Birmingham either

Well if people think (and my legal watchdogs) I am having yet another dig at Saint Simon, well perhaps I am, but not to worry if you are reading this me old pal me old beauty, I'll see you on Monday :)

And before I sign off, my emergent research is going to be interesting because it already has something not often seen in the genre, and that is a critical faculty since I will rubbish my own methods and failings in more ways than the more acquiescent reviewer is likely too, but that is the way to go isn't it?

Anonymity? Well if you are a participant reading this, unless you out yourself in the comments box, I remain true to the proper conventions, however if I ever do ever  quote you in a presentation I will ask if you would like a proper academic citation first :)
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