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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Oral history research ethics: should anonymity and confidentially issues be dealt with on their own merit?
Author:Le Roux, C.
Periodical:Africa Education Review (ISSN 1753-5921)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:oral history
professional ethics
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/18146627.2015.1112132
Abstract:A primary principle of ethical codes in research involving people is that of informed consent which ensures participants' right to privacy, confidentiality and anonymity. A blanket application of the principle of anonymity to Oral History (OH) research could well be counterproductive to the purported aims of OH research. The research comprised a literature study. Four rationales for doing OH are discussed and positioned within the philosophical framework that informs the purpose of and methodological approach to the research. Examples are extracted to explain where the principle of anonymity could be at variance with the research aims. When OH research sets out to contribute to historical understanding, validate respondents' lives, contribute to democracy and facilitate socio-political transformation, enforcing anonymity has the potential to denigrate the respondent and jeopardize research credibility. Researchers should question whether the unmitigated application of the principle of anonymity restricts them from achieving their mandate of affording respondents' dignity, respect, autonomy and beneficence. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]