Within the execution of this research project, three main research concepts including reflexivity, critical judgement and respect, emerged as providing the framework to successful research. As explained below, each of these concepts were seen to hold an intrinsic presence amongst all areas of this research area. Furthermore the overall application of such methods has propelled the ethical representation of data to be upheld, in order to remain a reliable researcher.
From the interviews that were conducted in this report, I have appreciated that ongoing reflexive behaviour is crucial in producing authentic research. As determined by Moustakas, it is through a researcher’s heuristic inquiries that the concept of ‘self’ is utilised as a main tool in the research procedure (cited in Etherington, 2004 p. 16). This correlated mainly into my research area due to my own personal experience as a type 1 diabetic student at UOW. Therefore throughout the methodology and development of focus area I consistently reaffirmed my attachment to this research, which provided motivational guidance towards producing an accurate representation of information. Hence an overall achievement from the execution of these interviews was the ability to connect and share stories with other students as this prompted a greater sense of purposeful research behaviour.
By distinguishing the study area of my research project, this gave a clear indication towards the types of reflexive research to be conducted. As stated, a distinctive feature of qualitative methods is that they originate from the perspective and actions of the subjects studied (Alvesson, Sköldberg 2009 p. 7). Therefore, this meant that the researcher’s presence and further interpretation acts as a major influencer in the formation of final research (Alvesson, Sköldberg 2009 p. 7). Ergo through the incorporation of personal interviews, this gave my reflexivity greater leverage to encourage the participants’ answers through our connection with a chronic condition. Through this reflexive behaviour, I was more so inclined to execute ethical research within interviews and background information to ensure that this material is interpreted and understood as being reliable.
Additionally to obtain authentic research, it is necessary to engage with critical judgment in order to uphold ethical representation. As described by Burton & Watkins (2013 p. 119), critical judgement is an intellectual skill that researchers are expected to uphold to appropriately reflect their research objectives. As evinced from this report, resources such as Diabetes Australia and studies from medical scholars were incorporated to provide a framework for accountable research. In order to include this information the ‘CRAP’ validation method was implemented from evaluating credible sources and information legitimacy. Ergo critical judgment meant that resources were seen as being accountable for and acceptable for supporting evidence.
More so due to the health focus of my research area, respect was another critical aspect to adhere to. Firstly participants in the interview environment were made aware of the research focal point and their access to entitlements during the questioning process. Secondly, they were also made aware of my communication strategy (blog updates) to again, execute ethical behaviour in terms of keeping participants informed and alert to the research development. As confirmed by Sana Loue, researchers must fashion their research to be sensitive of varying understandings while still ensuring that fundamental principles of informed consent are followed (2015 p. 55). Ergo at the beginning of each interview, participants were given an outline of consent regarding the allowance to not answer questions and not incorporate personal details such as their name or age. Furthermore as referred to by Loue (2015 p. 55), it was crucial to be receptive of all participants’ answers and allow probing questions to be formed off such differing responses. Hence, this allowed for a more illustrative depiction of contrasting or similar experiences to be incorporated into the final report.
As deduced from above, the incorporation of each of these elements has highlighted the execution of authentic research. From upholding reflexivity, this meant that an ongoing connection to this research topic was maintained and further allowed for meaningful interactions to occur with participants. Additionally implementing critical judgment for main background research exhibited the criticality of ethical behaviour in the representation of personal data. Finally, always showcasing actions of respect meant that the participants were prioritised in the ethical collection of data. Furthermore maintaining the communication strategy kept them continuously informed of the project’s development. Thus through these concepts, this research has attempted to achieve the righteous attainment and representation of information to provide educative awareness on type 1 diabetes and tertiary study.
Alvesson M, Sköldberg K, 2009, ‘Reflexive Methodology: New Vistas for Qualitative Research,’ SAGE Publications Ltd., London, UK, p. 7
Burton M, Watkins D, 2013, ‘Research Methods in Law,’ Routledge, New York, USA, p. 119
Etherington K, 2004, ‘Becoming a Reflexive Researcher – Using Our Selves in Research,’ Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London, UK, p. 16
Loue S, 2015, ‘Ethical Issues in Sandplay Therapy Practice and Research, Springer International Publishing, Ohio, USA, p. 55