Monday, December 03, 2007

We're Being Studied

We have recently received a request from Niyati Kataria, a graduate student at Penn State, to participate in a study of the blogs that are engaging the issues in the Episcopal Church. We have agreed to cooperate with her, and some of the TEM Board members have given her extensive phone interviews.

She will be studying the content of our blog essays and comments. At her request, we are also publishing this announcement to all of you.

We're not feeling like lab rats. And we have confidence that the student and the university are taking appropriate measures to assure confidentiality. But Ms. Kataria and Penn State require that we post the following on our blog during the period of her research.

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Dear blogger,

My name is Niyati Kataria and I’m conducting research for my graduate degree at The Pennsylvania State University. I would like to use data in the form of your blog posts (posted from August 2006 to date) on this blog site for my research. The results of my study may be published and if and when this happens, the following measures will be taken to ensure your confidentiality:

1. This blog site name will be disguised. The site will be called by a pseudonym such as 'blog1'.
2. The usernames you use on this site will not be used to refer to your posts in my paper. Instead I will assign pseudonyms such as 'blogger 1, blogger 2' etc. to refer to the identity of the person who posted the blog that is selected to be included in the paper.
Despite the above measures, if you would like me to not use any particular posts posted by you, please let me know which posts you would like me to withdraw from the study by emailing me at nuk133 at psu dot edu. [TEM Editor's note: If you have trouble parsing her e-mail address from that citation, click on the "Contact Us" button at the left, and we will forward your message to Ms. Kataria.] Please do so by 15th December 2007. Additionally, if you would be interested in the results of the analysis of this paper, I would be happy to send you a copy of the same if you request it by writing to me at the above mentioned email address.

Thanks and best regards,
Niyati Kataria

7 Comments:

Blogger trueanglican said...

Why on earth would you conceal the identity of a public blog. That's academic "confidentiality" gone berserk. Stuff published on The Episcopal Majority is just as public as stuff published in the New York Times.

12/04/2007 12:17 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I agree, and I told her so. But it's not up to me to change the rules of research at Penn State.

12/04/2007 12:22 AM  
Blogger Mike Greiner said...

Everybody smile, comb your hair. You're being watched!

12/04/2007 6:51 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

The promise of anonymity not only reassures those who might desire it, it prepares the rest of us for the eventual blow of not seeing our name in print when here research is done.
Vanitas vanitatum ac omnia vanitas!

12/04/2007 9:03 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

LOL, Paul! I had much the same reaction myself! "You mean I won't get credit for the marvelous, pithy things I've said??" {me whines}

12/04/2007 9:27 PM  
Blogger Allie said...

She would have had to get the consent of each blogger to use their posts. I know emails are the property of the sender, I'm not sure about posts. Regardless, it may make her research easier to not consider bloggers identities.

12/11/2007 3:28 PM  
Blogger Grandmère Mimi said...

Allie, I learned, to my dismay, that emails are not necessarily considered the property of the sender by everyone, when one of mine was published without my permission.

However, I do regard any email sent to me as personal correspondence, and I would never publish without permission, and I would hope the person on the other end would so regard mine.

My identity is out there. It's not displayed on my blog, but anyone who wants to find it can do so easily.

12/22/2007 6:16 PM  

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