In Case Study Research, Yin (2003) states the importance to build a case study database, in order to increase the reliability of the findings.

"...without a case study database, the raw data may not be available for independent inspection." ... "...every case study project should strive to develop a formal, presentable database, so that in principle, other investigators can review the evidence directly and not be limited to the written case study reports." (p.102)

Unless I am missing something, he doesn't address how to manage access to a case study database. If my case study database contains sensitive data, that cannot necessarily be anonymized, how should I handle the gatekeeping of this database?

ETA: I'm in social sciences.

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    You likely need to add more information here to help the folks on this site understand what you are looking for. At the very least, what discipline are you talking about? Case studies are normal in my discipline, case study databases are very much not because the raw data is too sensitive to be shared. I am not allowed to share my data with anyone. If you have ethically sensitive data, you can't share it and thus you can't have an open database of it. – GrotesqueSI Nov 4 '19 at 19:52
  • @GrotesqueSI I'm in social sciences and this is exactly what I was thinking as I was reading Yin. So I'm not wrong in thinking that sharing a case study database may not always be applicable. Thanks! – curious Nov 4 '19 at 20:21
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    The answer would depend on what your IRB (or similar research ethics body) has approved for these data. – Bryan Krause Nov 4 '19 at 22:13
  • @BryanKrause I'll ask and report back if it seems widely applicable. Thanks! – curious Nov 5 '19 at 3:37
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    @Emilie If your IRB/Ethics board hasn't already approved an accessible database for your data then consider it not approved. Mine would consider me crazy for even suggesting such a thing, but my data is truly sensitive. Also, if on your participant information sheets/consent forms you didn't tell your participants that there would be a database, you can't suddenly make one now. – GrotesqueSI Nov 5 '19 at 9:35

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