A Rose By Any Other Name Is Still a Rose? Problematizing Pseudonyms in Research

Maria K E Lahman, Katrina L. Rodriguez, Lindsey Moses, Krista M. Griffin, Bernadette M. Mendoza, Wafa Yacoub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Pseudonyms, an integral part of the social science research, are ubiquitous, thereby garnering minimal published reflection. In practice, researchers may apply pseudonyms with little thought or deep reflection. The purpose of this methodological article is to increase the scholarly discussion to provide transparency in the participant naming process. The authors review the literature, detail their reflexive engagement with pseudonyms, and advance issues of consideration in the areas of power in participant naming and confidentiality. Throughout the article, the authors interrupt the text with apercus or narrative interludes to share personal experiences, pausing the traditional scholarship, thus allowing room for reflexivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-453
Number of pages9
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 9 2015


  • Institutional Review Board (IRB)
  • confidentiality
  • pseudonyms
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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