#025 – Dr Sam Baars and Iesha Small: Conducting a Research Project (part 1)

3rd August 2018

In this episode Iesha starts a two-part discussion with Dr Sam Baars, LKMco’s Director of Research, about the way that we conduct research at LKMco. Iesha and Sam discuss the importance of research ethics and data security as the ‘foundations’ of good research, before running through the main elements of a research project – design, conduct, analyse, report. They then discuss research design in more detail, and how decisions about research questions, research tools, ethics and resources are all interrelated.

In this episode Iesha and Sam:

  • Go through what the Director of Research does at LKMco
  • Discuss why data protection is important, and how it shapes the way we do our research
  • Explain how we make ethical considerations of the risk and value attached to our fieldwork
  • Consider why data protection and ethics are fundamental to what research is all about
  • Spell out why informed content is important, and how the GDPR has made consent requirements stricter
  • Explore how social research is different to journalism
  • Identify the main stages that all research projects have in common
  • Define what we mean by ‘research design’
  • Compare the features of good and bad research questions
  • Think about why specific, well-framed research questions are fundamental to high quality research
  • Consider how research questions can emerge from literature reviews and theories of change
  • Discuss how research questions impact on the design of a project and the tools used
  • Illustrate how different research methods approach the idea of ‘causality’
  • Struggle to define what an ethnographer is
  • Show how ‘researchers’ come in many different guises
  • Agree that exploring one question rather than another is always an ethical decision
  • Consider the arguments for having centrally-funded research
  • Reflect on where our funding comes from and how our research responds to that

Resources/people featured or mentioned:

Show notes and links for this episode can be found here.

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Music credits:

‘Oui’ by Simon Mathewson and ‘Jump for joy’ by Scott Holmes both from http://freemusicarchive.org