HumanMicrobes.org recipient IDs

SFBayFMT5

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Apr 23, 2024
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I was looking at the spreadsheet of currently active donors and noticed what seems to be a shortcoming regarding the recipient IDs. Aside from Michael Harrop's own reports, none of the recipients seem repeated across different donors. Clearly not every recipient tried every donor, but I'd expect a lot more duplication. And looking at the IDs, I'm suspecting that they are made from the order date and the location of the recipient. So in other words I suspect are tied to an ORDER and not a human recipient.

Seeing as the ordering FAQ request a separate order be made for each donor, and furthermore many recipients will test donors in sequence rather than ordering from several on the same day anyway, this is a problem when trying to disentangle the effect of donor vs. recipient. It would be much more useful if each recipient had a stable ID that didn't change across donors.

I understand that HMorg probably can't (or doesn't want to) break confidentiality to tie these together itself on their end unless the recipients provide that information. So what I suggest is this--that each recipient upon making a first order either nominates his/her own stable ID or else HMorg assigns one to him/her when fulfilling the order. Then, this recipient tags every report to HMorg from then on with this ID. This would allow people to compare donor ratings and responses while keeping the recipient constant (which is clearly a factor--many donors range from 4/10 to 8/10 in rating across the recipients).
 
Yeah, recipients seemed to want more anonymity so I changed how they're identified. They are welcome to reference their previous results entry with other donors. One recipient did that.

If you have a format suggestion for creating unique IDs that are also completely anonymous, let me know. I'm happy to implement your suggestion to make comparisons easier.
 
I thought either the date on which the ID was created, or some random digit string, plus maybe the location, like for donors (at least I'm assuming that the FL for instance in FL_RS_1997 refers to Florida and the NY in BuddingBear's ID refers to New York, correct me if I'm wrong). If there happen to be two people in the same state/country/whatever who create IDs on the same day, maybe add a "_1" and "_2" on the end. Something like that.

If using state/country is not anonymous enough for people, then you could just cycle through letter pairs, something like AA, BB, CC, .... AB, BC, CD, ... You probably DON"T want to go something like AA, AB, AC, etc. as then you have a lot of adjacent entries where both the first few digits and the first letter are the same, which makes it hard to visually keep rows straight when reading.

Now if people don't WANT their responses to different donors to be linkable to one another, then ANY way to create a stable ID obviously won't work. So maybe use the existing scheme, but then ALLOW people to provide an ID from an earlier feedback submission when sending in a new one, and if they do so, then use that rather than creating a new one. That even works going forward for the recipients already in the table, i.e. assuming the people who have already submitted feedback have been told what ID they were given, they can just submit future feedback under that ID assuming they're OK with having them linked.
 
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