I appreciated reading Knight’s (2002) take on nine common difficulties that researchers may experience when collecting data (especially for inexperienced researchers) as well as his practical suggestions to address the identified concerns when and if they arise during the research process. It was comforting to read Knight’s assertion that: “…when you read research reports be mildly spectical of those that make it seem that the research went to plan” (p.162). As someone who enjoys exploring research projects conducted by other academics and scholars I still find designing a research study and data collection very intimidating. Particularly because other individuals make it seem effortless. It is not the norm to hear discussion about numerous difficulties other researchers encountered or their individual concerns and personal insecurities.
There are two difficulties identified by Knight – participant withdrawing and low response rate –which I am concerned about experiencing as I conduct my research because it explores a sensitive issue and may seem particularly intrusive to some individuals. Therefore, it will be imperative for me as a researcher to build relationship of trust. Knight outlines ways in which a researcher can build and maintain the trust of participant such as, having the researcher clearly inform potential participants the purpose of the research study and what it is about, ensuring the participant’s confidentiality and anonymity, being willing to disclose “information about similar experiences”, being an active listener and careful observer, being humble and empathetic, and making necessary arrangements for the participant to be interviewed in a space where they feel safe (p.170). What are some of the concerns that you have about your research project?
Knight, P.T. (2002). Small-scale research. Chapter 7: Doing It (pp.161-172). London: Sage Publications Ltd.