It Is Time to Share (Some) Qualitative Data: Reply to Guishard (2018), McCurdy and Ross (2018), and Roller and Lavrakas (2018)


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Abstract

In this article, we offer a reply to the three commentaries on our article, “Is It Time to Share Qualitative Research Data?” (DuBois, Strait, & Walsh, 2018). We agree with the commenters on many points, including the need to honor relationships with communities, the need to protect participants from harm, and the usefulness of having a framework for data sharing that is informed by quality standards. We also respond to several areas of apparent disagreement regarding the need to be accountable to those who fund and consume science, the possibility that many participants—much like authors—prefer that their contributions to science be broadly disseminated and presented in proper context, and the common legal fact of institutional ownership of research data in the United States. We conclude that it will not be possible to share all data in a responsible manner but that this does not prevent a change in our default assumption regarding qualitative data sharing. In general, data should be shared unless compelling concerns exist that cannot be addressed adequately.

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