Protecting Student Anonymity in Research Using a Subject-Generated Identification Code

Megan Lippe, Bailey Johnson, Patricia Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Within nursing education research, protection of students as human subjects must be the highest priority. This protection can be provided via student anonymity. A subject-generated identification code, comprised of responses to a series of questions, can link data across time points while protecting student anonymity. Method: Two studies, focused on palliative care education, used a subject-generated identification code to link student data across multiple time points. Refinements to the code were made between studies to further enhance anonymity and response consistency. Results: The subject-generated identification code fostered linking of student responses across three time points in study one and two time points in study two. Conclusion: There are many benefits to utilizing a subject-generated identification code in nursing education studies. Researchers must consider the need for a data management expert and balancing transposition errors and the power to differentiate between responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-123
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Professional Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Education, nursing
  • Nursing education research
  • Research personnel
  • Research subjects
  • Students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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