Picking Pseudonyms for Your Research Participants

When we got back from our last set of home visits, we wanted to keep our user’s names private, but still refer to them as real people.  We used BabyNameVoyager to find a pseudonym for our participants.  I learned this trick while working as a research assistant at Intel Research Berkeley and think it is genius.

For example, if you interviewed a woman named Dolores who was in her 60’s, that would mean she was born in the 1950’s, so you type in D and see that other popular names of women in their 60s are Donna, Diane, Debra, Deborah and so you would pick one of those.  By keeping the first letter the same as the participants’, the research team can easily remember the pseudonym and then you don’t have to refer to them as user 4 or participant 4.

One comment on “Picking Pseudonyms for Your Research Participants”

  1. Lee wrote on

    You have just solved my participant pseudonym problems in one fell swoop.