Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between anonymity and confidentiality?

The term "anonymous" should ONLY be used in situations where the researcher has no possible way to link the subject's responses to their name or physical person. This is typically accomplished by using an anonymous survey that the subject completes and drops into a "drop box." Face-to-face interviews cannot be anonymous. E-mail surveys typically cannot be anonymous, since the person receiving the e-mailed response would generally be able to determine the sender's e-mail address. For more information about anonymity and confidentiality, see guidelines.