Pivoting Toward Rhetorical Ethics by Sharing and Using Existing Data and Creating an RHM Databank An Ethical Research Practice for the Rhetoric of Health and Medicine

Main Article Content

Kristin Marie Bivens
Candice A. Welhausen


We argue that by using existing data and sharing research in a databank, RHM scholars can practice a research habit that conserves and optimizes intellectual and institutional resources. When possible, by using existing datasets, scholars avoid data waste, that is ignoring or bypassing existing data. The data distinctions that we call attention to—derived, compiled, and designed—account for various ethical and rhetorical concerns regarding privacy and confidentiality, expected context, and consent. Equally important to the aforementioned data deliberations we explore, collecting and managing shared RHM data in a databank, while possible, are not without ethical, logistical, and rhetorical difficulties.

Article Details

Special Section



Baldwinson, Raquel. (2018). Ethics for rhetoric, the rhetoric of ethics, and rhetorical ethics in health and medicine. Rhetoric of Health & Medicine, 1(3-4): 213-238.

Ball, Cheryl. (2013). From big data to boutique data. Digital Rhetoric Collective. Retrieved fromhttps://www.digitalrhetoriccollaborative.org/2013/11/12/from-big-data-to-boutique-data/

CDC. (2019). Resources data. Centers for Disease Control. Retrieved fromhttps://www.cdc.gov/nceh/tracking/resources_data.htm

Hansen, Carolina Malta, Kragholm, Kristian, Pearson, David A., Tyson, Clark, Monk, Lisa, Myers, Brent, … & Granger, Christopher B. (2015). Association of bystander and first-responder intervention with survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in North Carolina, 2010-2013. Journal of the American Medical Association, 314(3): 255-264.

Harris, Theresa L. & Wyndham, Jessica M. (2015). Data rights and responsibilities: A human rights perspective on data sharing. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 10(3): 334-337.

Melonçon, Lisa & Scott, J. Blake. (2018). Methodologies for the Rhetoric of Health & Medicine. Oxfordshire, England: Routledge.

Ohno-Machado, Lucila, Bafna, Vineet, Boxwala, Aziz A., Chapman, Brian E., Chapman, Wendy W., Chaudhuri, Kamalika, … & the iDash team. (2012). iDash: Integrating data for analysis, anonymization, and sharing. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 19(2): 196-201.

Reynolds, Barbara & Seeger, Matthew. (2014). Crisis Emergency Risk Communication: 2014 Edition. Retrieved fromhttps://emergency.cdc.gov/cerc/resources/pdf/cerc_2014edition.pdf

Ringh, Mattias, Rosenqvist, Mårten, Hollenberg, Jacob, Jonsson, Martin, Fredmen, David, Nordberg, Per, … & Svensson, Lief. (2015). Mobile-phone dispatch of laypersons for CPR in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. New England Journal of Medicine, 372: 2316-2325.

Sandman, Peter M. (2014). Introduction to risk communication and orientation to this website. Retrieved from http://www.psandman.com/index-intro.htm