Background: Within nursing education research, protection of students as human subjects must be the highest priority. This protection can be provided via student anonymity. A subject-generated identification code, comprised of responses to a series of questions, can link data across time points while protecting student anonymity. Method: Two studies, focused on palliative care education, used a subject-generated identification code to link student data across multiple time points. Refinements to the code were made between studies to further enhance anonymity and response consistency. Results: The subject-generated identification code fostered linking of student responses across three time points in study one and two time points in study two. Conclusion: There are many benefits to utilizing a subject-generated identification code in nursing education studies. Researchers must consider the need for a data management expert and balancing transposition errors and the power to differentiate between responses.
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