Issues that came out during the review
Stepping into analysis -reviewing articles for the British Journal of Learning Disabilities Special Issue
Stepping into analysis -reviewing articles for the British Journal of Learning Disabilities Special Issue
Stepping into analysis -reviewing articles for the British Journal of Learning Disabilities Special Issue
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Stepping into analysis -reviewing articles for the British Journal of Learning Disabilities Special Issue

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Presentation by Christopher Blunt, Lou Townson, Louise Frost, Richard Hughes, Darren Hayward, Barbara Perry, Craig Blyth, Rohhss Chapman (University of Manchester Partnership Steering Group) about their experiences of editing a special issue of the British Journal of Learning Disabilities. This presentation was part of a seminar, funded by the ESRC, focusing on participatory data analysis for and with people with learning disabilities

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  • Chris: We are going to briefly explain about how we reviewed all the papers that were sent to us from people who wanted them included in the journal. The process was a lot like data analysis because we had to decide what was useful and what was not so useful.
    We got all the papers together and we all had a copy of them. We then formed small groups and each group read 3 or 4 of the papers very carefully. We read them at home and some of us had help from our family and supporters.
     
    Craig: We then got back together and talked about all the individual papers. We used different colours to ensure everyone’s views were included. We made sure that everyone had space and time to think about all the issues and have their thoughts heard. Lou and Rohhss will now talk about some of the issues that arose in more detail.
    HAND OVER
    Louise: Professor Duncan Mitchell is the editor of the British Journal of Learning Disabilities.
    He agreed to let us put together a special issue about partnership research.
    As a group we peer reviewed the articles and wrote the editorial.
    We wanted it to be inclusive from start to finish.
    Darren: Duncan communicated with us throughout the process. The first meeting we had with him was in December 2010.
    We worked on a PATH of the process to help us achieve our aim together. Here it is on the wall.
    Barbara: Duncan said it was important that the articles met high academic standards as well as being accessible. We decided we wanted papers about research done by or alongside people with learning difficulties. Where possible people with learning difficulties being fully involved in the decision making and writing up of the research. We put out a Call for Papers with the title ‘The research and work of people with learning difficulties and their allies and supporters.’ You can see it on the PATH timeline.
  • Chris: We are going to briefly explain about how we reviewed all the papers that were sent to us from people who wanted them included in the journal. The process was a lot like data analysis because we had to decide what was useful and what was not so useful.
    We got all the papers together and we all had a copy of them. We then formed small groups and each group read 3 or 4 of the papers very carefully. We read them at home and some of us had help from our family and supporters.
     
    Craig: We then got back together and talked about all the individual papers. We used different colours to ensure everyone’s views were included. We made sure that everyone had space and time to think about all the issues and have their thoughts heard. Lou and Rohhss will now talk about some of the issues that arose in more detail.
     
     
  • Rohhss and Lou
    Rohhss There were a number of themes that arose in reviewing the papers.
    Rohhss
    Partnership and inclusive meant different things to different people but sometimes by the way a paper was written it was contradictory and that made you wonder if it had been inclusive or how far. We asked writers to be more clear and transparent about the process of including people. If people are not included then really they are being rejected.
    Lou
    Some topics were sensitive or upsetting – for example, cancer and abuse and some people didn’t really want to review those papers. We respected their decision and so people stepped out of the process when they wanted to. We had a big debate about this because sometimes people are shielded from life issues yet to have feelings about the subject is to be expected, it doesn't matter if you have a label or not, its just that the support needs to be there.
    Rohhss
    Another issue that arose was generalising the term learning disability. A lot of the papers used the term giving the impression that all people have the same needs or capabilities. This came up a lot the need to have more clarity about peoples needs rather than grouping people. No one person can speak for all people or make assumptions about their thoughts and ideas.
  • Richard: It was a great thing to do but there were some difficulties that came up. Working as a team can be hard. We had to agree things like when to meet (we all have different things to do outside the university). When we did meet we had to agree things like how many breaks to have (some people got very tired during the process).
    Craig: One of the issues that the group have some heated discussions about was the use of jargon. We needed to decide if we should make sure that there was no jargon or if we should include it but make sure it was explained. We agreed to keep the amount to a minimum but explain any big words so that people got a chance to learn new things.
    Richard: it was a real challenge to make the journal accessible but also make sure that the articles were academic enough and were inline with what Duncan had asked for – the production of new knowledge. We think we managed to achieve this. Thank you!
     
     
     
     
  • Stepping into analysis -reviewing articles for the British Journal of Learning Disabilities Special Issue

    1. 1. Issues that came out during the review

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