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E-research:    methodological                                     Katrina Pritchard     challenges and                  An...
Session overview                  What is e-research?                 Outline of our approach:                 Pilot      ...
What is e-research?      “research        not just      about the     Internet but       also on it     and through       ...
What is e-research?     Using   digital tools to:       Locate    and access research resources       Discover,    acce...
What is e-research?     Common        features:       Digitally                mediated interactions with research      ...
Digital footprints   Digital footprints are the (almost permanent) trails created        through our own interactions (and...
What is e-research?     Often      broadly defined by different data types:         Generated specifically for research ...
Critiques     “itis hard to see how new technologies add much      that is really new to qualitative research ... more   ...
Relevance?     E-research    offers the potential to:         unpack and explore what we might previously have          ...
Age at                                   work                                  media                                 conve...
Pilot     Pilotsaim to “help test and refine one or more      aspects of a final study – for example, its      design, fi...
Digital footprint: pilot phase                                            Shared gmail account                            ...
Practical Steps     Data collection ran until end of January 2012 (150      days of alerts)     Review   of alerts was o...
Example google alert showing variety of „hits‟ receivedhttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com         © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and...
Example of relevant „hit‟, here including text and image                                                                  ...
Example of word proforma used for cut and pasting text    and images. Links to audio and video were kept via posts        ...
Example of online debate and follow up                     comments   12:06 Comment From [name removed: ] Friday December ...
Example Blog post   I‟m inclined to think these youth need to be earning at least a minimum   wage. The Secretary of Labor...
Example news item with comments   Age Discrimination Takes Its Toll By [Journalist NY Times]   ... A startling proportion ...
Example news item with comments     Weary OAPs wholl be working into their 70s     By Daily Mail Reporter UPDATED: 11:07, ...
Tweets   [USERNAME] The Older Worker and the Changing Labor Market: New   Challenges for the Workplace: As the country‟s w...
Practical steps     150 days of alerts     Around 6 relevant items from google/nexis per day      giving approximately 9...
Practical steps     Nvivo was both a blessing and a curse:       Problems with working across different versions (Versio...
Digital footprint: pilot phase                                            Shared gmail account                            ...
Digital footprint: main project        Slideshare used for            conference        presentations and      linked to p...
Selecting conversations from the     data: Soil sampling                                 Random Sampling                  ...
Where we dug                            Co-constructed nature of our data       Sampling: a mix of       random and       ...
Practical Steps: analysis      Micro-level   analysis:          Item specific analysis: Text, Image etc          Combin...
National &                                     regional                   Campaign            press                    & l...
@ageingnewshttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com        © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
Ethical issues        Major debate within e-research (see Ess, C.        (2009), Digital Media Ethics, Cambridge, Polity ...
Ethical issues        We excluded data from private discussion boards        and members only areas, focusing on „public‟...
Tracking     Similar   to an e-tracer study (Hornby and Symon,      1994)     Follow particular people or groups of inte...
Tracking     Need   to identify a robust „name‟ or „event‟ and      make an active decision to „track‟ in time (can be   ...
Trawling     Use of key word searches, similar to any other      „google‟ search but used to provide daily alerts     Pa...
Relationship                 @ageingnews                 Voices                               Age at Work                 ...
Rethinking relationships     Because   we are sharing the experience of „digital      interaction‟ it can be hard to sepa...
Top tips so far...     Seekout support and venture outside      management and organizational studies     Startsmall and...
Top tips so far...     But   also allow yourself a few experiments!     Boost PC security and scan everything      regul...
Next steps: e-research       On-going work on analysis     Review    of ethical positioning in respect to particular    ...
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21 sep12 age at work seminar afternoon session

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21 sep12 age at work seminar afternoon session

  1. 1. E-research: methodological Katrina Pritchard challenges and And Rebecca Whiting insights from our project Department of Organizational Psychology Birkbeck, University of LondonResearch Seminar,Birkbeck, University of London21st September 2012 Research funded by Richard Benjamin Trust (Early Career Award 1103)http://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Session overview What is e-research? Outline of our approach: Pilot Practical steps in collecting, managing and analysing data Ethical considerations Emergent ideas: Tracking & Trawling Re-thinking research relationships Key challenges, the benefit of hindsight and next stepshttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. What is e-research? “research not just about the Internet but also on it and through it and constituted within it” (Hine, 2005, p. 205)http://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. What is e-research?  Using digital tools to:  Locate and access research resources  Discover, access, integrate and analyse data  Facilitate sharing and collaborationhttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  5. 5. What is e-research?  Common features:  Digitally mediated interactions with research participants at varying degrees of distance  Complex relationships between collection and dissemination due to overlapping „digital footprints‟  Blurredboundaries between notions of „primary‟ and „secondary‟ data though variants are broadly defined by different data typeshttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  6. 6. Digital footprints Digital footprints are the (almost permanent) trails created through our own interactions (and by those who reference, link, discuss these) via the internet and other networkshttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  7. 7. What is e-research?  Often broadly defined by different data types:  Generated specifically for research purposes:  e-questionnaires, digital ethnography or internet- facilitated interviews  Re-used from other research projects:  Office of national statistics http://www.statistics.gov.uk/hub/index.html  UK household longitudinal survey http://www.understandingsociety.org.uk/  Digitally generated via other non-research interactions which are then „harvested‟ for research purposes:  Blogs, twitter, facebook, websites, discussion boards  Google flu trends: http://www.google.org/flutrends/http://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  8. 8. Critiques  “itis hard to see how new technologies add much that is really new to qualitative research ... more worryingly they flatter us into thinking that, because the methods are new or innovative, no further thought about methodological issues or how one analyses the data is required”. Travers (2009, p. 172)  E-research is also criticised for being:  too far removed from day-to-day experiences of „real life‟ or real work  overly concerned with large datasets and operating in broad generalisations rather than generating depthhttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. Relevance?  E-research offers the potential to:  unpack and explore what we might previously have labelled „context‟ or ignored  look at interactions between organizations and/or the ways in which organizations engage with others via the internet  examine the ways in which individuals (including employees, customers etc.) engage with different organizations  follow conversations, events and stories as they „unfold‟ across various different mediahttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  10. 10. Age at work media conversations voiceshttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  11. 11. Pilot  Pilotsaim to “help test and refine one or more aspects of a final study – for example, its design, fieldwork procedures, data collection instruments or analysis plans” Yin (2011, p. 37)  Key aspects:  Select/test tools (google alerts, nexis, twilerts)  Select search terms  Run four weeks of data collection and management  Review ethical issues  Working through practical issues (e.g. related to collaboration)http://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  12. 12. Digital footprint: pilot phase Shared gmail account set up Private and public blogs set up Alerts used as primary means of accessing Used to share pdfs and data notes on papershttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  13. 13. Practical Steps  Data collection ran until end of January 2012 (150 days of alerts)  Review of alerts was ongoing, usually between 3-10 days:  Checking too soon did not allow for links and comments to be posted, waiting too long the pages may move or be lost  „Cutand paste‟ approach to most data with links saved for video and audio  Dailyword documents used to store data, separate docs for twilerts and google/nexis alertshttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  14. 14. Example google alert showing variety of „hits‟ receivedhttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  15. 15. Example of relevant „hit‟, here including text and image Sidebars may offer links that are relevant but pop- ups also caused security problems. We have not generally captured the broader webhttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com page content. © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  16. 16. Example of word proforma used for cut and pasting text and images. Links to audio and video were kept via posts on private blog page 7th December 2011 downloaded 20th December Summary: 1 How to cope with a midlife demotion Globe and Mail 2 Age discrimination: employer justifies Xpert HR differences in treatment under early-release scheme 3 My Health Insurance Rates Just Went Down NY times Again 4 Whatever happened to the notion of hard Ceylon Daily News work? 5 Firm hopes £350,000 deals will spark next Manchester Evening generation News ITEM 1 URL: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/career-advice/barbara-moses/how-to- cope-with-a-midlife-demotion/article2261432/http://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  17. 17. Example of online debate and follow up comments 12:06 Comment From [name removed: ] Friday December 9, 2011 12:06 Guest Hello, in the IT industry will they even give a help desk position for an overqualified 40 year old? Heard ageism is rampant in that industry. 12:07 [Guest expert response:] I am not an expert on that indsutry, but I cant imagine why they would be different than others. I know several older workers who were downsized from big jobs and took call centre jobs. What they care about is reliability and being intelligently responsive. Friday December 9, 2011 12:07 [Guest Expert] Comments: "I think it is true that you have likely gone as far as you can with your employer unless you are in a very senior role." This is what [Guest Expert] says, but I dont think its necessarily true. I switched to a different but related field at 46 and just got a promotion at 49, and there is talk of moving me up in another couple of years. They dont actually know how old I am, so maybe that makes some difference. But mostly I think if you act young-ish and are eager, there are opportunities. 50 is not old!http://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  18. 18. Example Blog post I‟m inclined to think these youth need to be earning at least a minimum wage. The Secretary of Labor seems to think so too, since she talks [links to official transcript of the speech] about how important summer jobs were for her, growing up in a large family without a lot of money. “In these tough economic times,” she adds, “many young people share their earnings with their families to help make ends meet.” So I wonder how many “disconnected youth” will cotton to the idea of spending a good bit of their time preparing, at no pay, for the iffy prospects of a future job. Help with resume writing maybe. But time management? These, however, are practical recruitment and retention issues. There‟s also an underlying policy issue. Specifically, the White House has put its stamp of approval on unpaid internships, since they‟re one type of opportunity it urges organizations to provide. Such internships are, I think a two-edged swordhttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  19. 19. Example news item with comments Age Discrimination Takes Its Toll By [Journalist NY Times] ... A startling proportion of older people report that they‟ve experienced discrimination [link to article] 63 percent, in a study recently published in Research on Aging ... The most commonly cited cause? “Thirty percent report being mistreated because of their age,” said the lead author Ye Luo, a Clemson University sociologist. 73 Comments: As far as being discounted because Im older, yes, I sometimes feel that way. However, I dont just stand back and take it when 20 or 30- somethings call me "sweetie" or even worse "dearie". I just say something along the lines of "Oh, are you talking to me?" and smile, or if its someone I know, I ask them to call me by name. That usually works.http://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  20. 20. Example news item with comments Weary OAPs wholl be working into their 70s By Daily Mail Reporter UPDATED: 11:07, 9 January 2012 ... [Source], of Friends Life, said: Were expecting the traditional image of the pensioner with slippers and rocking chair to change completely. Many will not have saved adequately for a secure retirement. Necessity is the mother of invention and “Wearies” will be among the most innovative and entrepreneurial contributors to the UK economy. 24 comments: There will be revolution before I and millions like me work into our 70s to support the likes of these people. And how about the public sector ?Do they have to work into their 70s or do they get to retire earlier than the rest of us ? Cam need to have a major rethink on this one as theres no way Im working full time for years longerthan the average chavvy nursing assistant doing 16 hours a week who gets tax credits, a cheap council house or housing benefits and a full pension just because she spawned a few brats.http://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  21. 21. Tweets [USERNAME] The Older Worker and the Changing Labor Market: New Challenges for the Workplace: As the country‟s workforce age... http://t.co/U8s1017s Thu, 01 Dec 2011 03:44:58 from twitterfeed reply view [USERNAME] says, say what U want but my older co-worker = the nicest @ times (he recommended the perfect Belgium waffle sundae bc Im sick). It helped! Thu, 01 Dec 2011 01:27:59 from Tweetings for iPhone reply view [USERNAME] Tonight, my 24 year old co-worker thought I was younger than her. Apparently I have a "young face"...yay for 29 year old me ;-) Thu, 01 Dec 2011 06:07:24 from HootSuite reply viewhttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  22. 22. Practical steps  150 days of alerts  Around 6 relevant items from google/nexis per day giving approximately 900 sources which may include text, images, video items.  Around 50 relevant tweets from twilert per day giving approximately 7750 tweets  Additional data via following, signing up to newsletters, following links etc. from the alerts  Text and images cut and paste into word and then imported into NVivo. Word documents ranged from 1 to 60 pages in lengthhttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  23. 23. Practical steps  Nvivo was both a blessing and a curse:  Problems with working across different versions (Version 10 not available at start of project)  Format of word proforma created problems  Capture of alerts by day created docs that had to be broken up as too big to import into NVivo  Transcription practicalities in emailing links rather than files  Various options for sharing/backing up data became rather complicated  Need to buy rights to images if wanted to use them in publicationhttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  24. 24. Digital footprint: pilot phase Shared gmail account set up Private and public blogs set up Alerts used as primary means of accessing Used to share pdfs and data notes on papershttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  25. 25. Digital footprint: main project Slideshare used for conference presentations and linked to public blog Private blog used to log links to video and audio data Sharepoint used as data back up and some document sharing Dropbox used to share Nvivo and other working fileshttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  26. 26. Selecting conversations from the data: Soil sampling Random Sampling strategy Systematic sampling strategy Judgmental sampling strategyhttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  27. 27. Where we dug Co-constructed nature of our data Sampling: a mix of random and judgmental A thematic „cut‟ and a temporal „cut‟http://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  28. 28. Practical Steps: analysis  Micro-level analysis:  Item specific analysis: Text, Image etc  Combined analysis: Relationship between items (e.g. Headline, image, text, comments)  Meso-level analysis:  Conversations/Themes (including re media)  Interactions between „Voices‟ and „Topics‟  Timelines around „Events‟  Macro-level analysis:  Relationships between Media, Voices and Conversations  Ebbs, flows and influencing around broader Discourses and genreshttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  29. 29. National & regional Campaign press & lobby Government groups Professional bodies Charities Voices Law firms Recruitment and management consultants Bloggers Academicshttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  30. 30. @ageingnewshttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  31. 31. Ethical issues  Major debate within e-research (see Ess, C. (2009), Digital Media Ethics, Cambridge, Polity Press)  Key issues relate to:  Public vs. private spaces on the internet  BPS (2007, p. 3) whether the research activity may or may not pose an “additional threat to privacy over and above those that already exist”  Authenticity  “Cloaking” (subtle changes to protect identity)  Practical issues of contacting participants  Traceability (ability to Google a quote and identify the source anyway)http://ageatwork.wordpress.com  © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  32. 32. Ethical issues  We excluded data from private discussion boards and members only areas, focusing on „public‟ data sources  Maintained broad categorisation of key voices and sites when reporting data (e.g. as news, HR professional groups, consultancy organizations, campaign groups or government agencies) rather than anticipating specific identification  Committed to anonymisation of individuals for most detailed data but this is an ongoing area for reviewhttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  33. 33. Tracking  Similar to an e-tracer study (Hornby and Symon, 1994)  Follow particular people or groups of interest due to their engagement with a specific topic of relevance to the research  May also involve tracking an event across various media (cf timelines)http://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  34. 34. Tracking  Need to identify a robust „name‟ or „event‟ and make an active decision to „track‟ in time (can be retrospective)  The „participant‟ is not anonymous but individuals remain largely unnamed (though specific communications may involve identification of „key players‟)  The participant is unaware they are being tracked. However, if they actively seek an audience for their message and invite us to sign up; we receive regular newsletters and press releases. They have our email address. Who is tracking who?http://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  35. 35. Trawling  Use of key word searches, similar to any other „google‟ search but used to provide daily alerts  Participants may have an active or passive role in the data gathered:  characters in the news stories reported?  comment-posters (some of whom are so prolific their comments can far exceed the word count of the original article)  advertisers surrounding discussions of age at work?  models posing in the „library photographs‟?  staff reporter?  Should we concern ourselves with trolls, trolling and other such aspects of internet-based communication?http://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  36. 36. Relationship @ageingnews Voices Age at Work Mediahttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  37. 37. Rethinking relationships  Because we are sharing the experience of „digital interaction‟ it can be hard to separate different aspects of the research  Startedwith a clear view this was not an internet ethnography........now not so sure!  Notionof „informed consent‟ is particularly problematic to e-research, ethical frameworks need to evolve to „protect‟ both the researched and the researchers in the digital contexthttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  38. 38. Top tips so far...  Seekout support and venture outside management and organizational studies  Startsmall and play with a niche search to gain confidence  Balance focus on the methodological learning and the topic that is the area of focus (don‟t get distracted by the technology)http://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  39. 39. Top tips so far...  But also allow yourself a few experiments!  Boost PC security and scan everything regularly  Budget enough for different forms of data conversion  Be prepared for the deluge and have a plan for carving up data analysis into „publication sized‟ chunkshttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.
  40. 40. Next steps: e-research  On-going work on analysis  Review of ethical positioning in respect to particular data  Further develop notions of „tracking‟ and „trawling‟ for publication  Develop networking with other e-researchershttp://ageatwork.wordpress.com © 2012 Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting. All rights reserved.

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