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Cardiff Hypermedia

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Welcome to the Cardiff Hypermedia web-pages. Since the early 1990s, researchers in the School of Social Sciences have been experimenting with hypermedia and multimedia for the conduct of qualitative research (in particular, ethnographic research). Past and present team members include: Paul Atkinson, Amanda Coffey, Bella Dicks, Alex Hillman, Rachel Hurdley, Bruce Mason, Emma Renold, Bambo Soyinka, Matt Williams, Anna Weaver.This work has been supported by a number of grants from the Economic and Social Research Council. Below you will find links to some of the digital work that has emerged from this ongoing programme of work. Some of these outputs are password-protected to protect the confidentiality of research participants. Please get in touch with one of us to obtain passwords. all contacts and enquiries should be addressed to Bella Dicks or Matt Williams

You will see that our main aim has been to explore the potential of hypermedia for all stages of the research process - from fieldwork through to analysis and dissemination. Now that social scientists of all persuasions are increasingly using web-based platforms for the dissemination and storage of their research data AND findings, we are confident that new work will emerge to explore further the uses of hypermedia for qualitative research. In particular, we think the following questions are key:

  • What are the 'affordances' of different media in qualitative data and what are the effects of combining these in 1. analysis and 2. screen-based authoring?
  • How can hypermedia reflect the new attention to multi-sensory qualitative research?
  • How does the use of hyperlinking in qualitative analysis differ from the use of coding?
  • How do the principles of screen design affect authoring and dissemination?
  • How 'scholarly' is web-based authoring and dissemination compared with print media?

This is not an exhaustive list by any means. We hope to help facilitate dialogue and collaborations in this area so do get in touch with us if you have comments to make.


Web Links

Hypermedia and Qualitative Research. This site contains information on three ESRC funded projects into the use of hypermedia in ethnographic research. "The Production of Hypermedia Ethnography", "Ethnography for the Digital Age" and "Methodological Issues in Qualitative Data Sharing and Archiving".

Watching, Listening, Reading and Clicking: Representing Data Through Different Media. The project will produce a number of different kinds of representation (sound essay, photo-essay, filmic essay, print essay, hypertextual essay, hypermedia essay) around common research questions and foci, and present these to different reader constituencies for interpretation. The project will draw on an extensive multi-media, digital data set, already generated through fieldwork at a science discovery centre.

Methodological Issues in Qualitative Data Sharing and Archiving. This demonstrator project explores the interface between qualitative research design and the archiving, distribution and sharing of digital qualitative data-sets. Its specific focus is methodological, since there have been few attempts to explicitly address the implications of qualitative data sharing and archiving for research design and methodological decision making.

MIQDAS Online Guide. This guide addresses a new and burgeoning area in qualitative research methodology: the sharing of others’ archived data for the purposes of re-analysis. In this guide we try to keep things simple. We do not concern ourselves with definitions of secondary analysis or indeed procedures for doing it. Our main concern here is with preparing datasets that will be re-used for in-depth analysis of the data.

Ethnographic Hypermedia Environment (EHE). The EHE is split into 4 main zones: the ethnography (trails); the hyperdata set, the resources and the help files. Each zone is colour-coded to aid in navigation. You will also notice that each zone has a logo in the top right corner. This site is password protected. Please contact Dr Bella Dicks or Dr Matthew Williams to gain access.