National Centre for Research Methods



Hypermedia and Qualitative Research

The project explores the methodological issues involved in preparing already-analysed and authored research for re-use by other researchers. The team is investigating this by reflecting on the methodological issues raised by a previously completed piece of research, by means of implementing an 'Online Methods Trail'. This will guide re-users through our own data and allow them to follow our 'trail' of decisions and problems encountered. It will provide the information needed for re-users to understand and reflect upon the methodological context of the dataset assembled. We will also be developing an online guide that will flag up the key issues encountered.

Some of the key issues we anticipate are:

1. How do we provide contextual methodological information in an accessible and user-friendly way for data re-users?

2. How do we protect the anonymity of sources, where appropriate, and develop an ethically sound approach to the re-use of data?

3. How does the use of multimedia in the dataset impact upon the issues confronting re-users?

4. How should the electronic resources available via the computer best be exploited for preparing a data-set for re-use (including issues of mark-up language and multimedia)?

5. How far should, and can, researchers try to ensure that the interpretative and analytic work produced in the original research is not comprised by subsequent data re-use?

Amanda Coffey's research interests span sociology, social policy and education. She has a longstanding commitment to qualitative and ethnographic approaches, and to reserach on young people and the sociology of transitions. She is currently Director of Qualiti, the Cardiff Node of the ESRC Natioanl Centre for Reserach Methods.

Bella's research interests include cultural sociology (particularly focusing on placed identities, cultural representation, regeneration and heritage) and qualitative research methods, especially digital methods, multimedia, hypermedia and ethnography.

Matthew Williams is a Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University. The three key themes throughout his research are cybercrime, digital & online qualitative methodology, and policing, diversity & equal opportunities

Bruce Mason's research intresets include hypermedia and ethnography - the application of digital technology to qualitative research methods, scholarly hypertext/media and its implications for academia, the cybercultural vernacular - a critical analysis of the lived experienced online, sci-fi/fantasy in everyday life with a particular interest in fan re-writings and role-playing and folklore, modernity and technology

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ESRC National Centre for Research Methods
ESRC - Economic & Social Research Council