Researcher Visibility

Lurker” flickr photo by NomadWarMachine shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license

In my last post I shared a quote from Joanne McNeil introducing the idea of researcher as lurker. Since then I have been thinking at some reasons for researchers to show or hide themselves from their participants, and the related issues of visibility of data and ethical considerations. Here is my starter for ten about levels of researcher visibility and possible research reasons.

Researcher VisibilityResearch Reason
Status as researcher disclosed to participants from the outsetParticipatory research
Status as researcher initially hidden (not disclosed to participants), disclosed at/after data analysis stageConcerns about researcher influencing behaviour (e.g. Hawthorne effect).
Later disclosed so participants can authenticate interpretation
Status as researcher never disclosed to participants during data collection or analysis stageParticipant point of view not relevant
Researcher as ‘god-like’/expert
Data is being collected after the event
Participants are anonymous
Data VisibilityHow?
Public throughoutOpen research/open data
Public at publication of projectShared to institutional database
Shared with participantsVarious ways
Shared on requestVarious ways
Never shared 

My next stage is to think through types of ethical (approval) to match these.

[I think more and more, by the way, that the insistence on the need for ethical approval by institutional gatekeepers is problematic (and not at all ethical). I say something about this in my PhD thesis (see ~ p 82).]

This entry was posted in #CLMOOC, PhD, Researcher Journal, Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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