Documentation Plan for #SelfiesFromTheField

At the end of the session #SelfiesFromTheField, we plan to collaboratively write a working paper, synthesizing the discussions, arguments, and provocations that emerged during the session.

The session organisers and all the speakers at the session will be authors on the working paper. We request each of the speakers to edit their submitted to include around 200 words on the discussions from the session. We will incorporate these in the working paper, and will host each of the notes as a blogpost on the CIS and CITAPP websites. While the working paper forms a means of dissemination to an academic audience, we are also keen on taking the discussions from the session to non-academic audiences as well. These blogposts will help disseminate the workshop discussions to a wider audience.

The working paper is intended to be a go-to document for early-career researchers/ students, and act as a source of ideas, definitions, and ways that one may undertake research of IMIs. Further, this paper could be a starting point for future publications.

IMIs pose a peculiar challenge as they occupy the interstices of the online and the offline. This nature of IMIs poses challenges to researchers in classification and categorization, especially as attempts to focus could mean a loss of richness and context. Thus, in the working paper, rather than focussing on the do’s and the don’ts, we seek to synthesize the researchers’ experiences in:

  • designing field sites – what are the considerations that we as researchers can make in framing our research site?
  • accessing field sites – what are the different strategies we can adopt in accessing the field site?
  • doing the study – in collecting IMI related information, how do we researchers interact, observe, and participate in IMI given that IMIs may cloak individual participants in invisibility?
  • and ethics – how can we ensure anonymity and privacy of the respondents, how do we gain informed consent in contexts of IMIs, and what do we handle cases of conflict at the site?

We hope that fellow researchers find comfort and confidence in knowing that these travails are commonly faced and often overcome.

We also would like to highlight that while the session focusses on IMI, we hope that the learnings from this would be of use and relevant across different methodological approaches and research domains.

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