For Interviewees

We thank the many people who share their insight and information in ISS interviews. Over the coming years, the ISS interview archive will enable increasing numbers of distinguished public servants to record their reflections for future generations and for counterparts in other countries.

ISS interviews only people who voluntarily consent to the conversations that help us develop our case studies.  The reform leaders who participate have the option to skip questions, review quotes, and embargo parts of their interviews for release at a future date unless they specifically waive this option. We provide information regarding the program and the process, and we ask each person to review and sign two forms: a consent form indicating that the interview is voluntary and a recording release form that indicates how we may use quotes, transcripts, or other information. Questions regarding the rights of participants in this project should be directed to the director, Jennifer Widner, Email: [email protected] or to the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects, P.O. Box 36, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 U.S.A., Tel:  609-258-3976, Email: [email protected]

If an ISS research specialist has contacted you for an interview, you will receive a brochure describing the process. 
  • Interviews require no preparation, although we are happy to sketch the main subjects we hope to cover in advance of the conversation.
  • An interview usually lasts between an hour and an hour and a half.  Some may run longer and some are shorter. In some instances we may record interviews in multiple sessions.
  • We prefer to tape most interviews for the sake of accuracy.  However, not all taped interviews will appear in the web repository. You may determine whether the tape and transcript are available to others.  Further, if you do not wish us to tape the conversation but are willing to provide a background interview, we will comply.
  • Staff members review interviews and transcripts for sensitivities and potentially defamatory statements.  We edit transcripts accordingly and may make additional modifications to enhance readability.
  • If you indicate you would like to review the transcript, we will provide an opportunity to do so.  If we wish only to use selected quotes, we will ask for your permission to use those quotes unless you waive review.  If we do not hear from you after three attempted contacts, we will consider that you have cleared the remarks, unless we consider the information especially sensitive.
  • We cannot share the draft of a case study until all people quoted have cleared their remarks.  This process can take several months.  In a few instances we withhold cases indefinitely if there is reason to believe that information in the case may jeopardize the people we interviewed or if we do not think the collected interviews enable us to provide an accurate picture.
  • We will contact you via email when a case you have helped create is available on the website or when your interview is posted to the site.

Interview Brochure (PDF)