Call for contributions
Ethics in Practice As Research: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Editor: Dr Nicole Brown
For any questions or queries, please email Nicole Brown.
Research has seen significant developments towards more egalitarian, participatory, embodied, Indigenous, feminist, and phenomenological paradigms (see Kara, 2015; Mannay, 2015; Pink, 2015). Within the scope of these developments, research approaches now focus on ‘doing and making’ as part of the research process. Although different forms of Practice As Research have gained traction and practitioner research becomes more generally acknowledged and valued, there is still very limited literature available on the practicalities of navigating such research projects. Many studies and processes resemble what constitutes practice as research within the context of creative, performing and fine arts (Barrett & Bolt, 2007; Nelson, 2013). They may be described as practice-led research (Smith and Dean, 2009), practice-based enquiry (Whiteford, 2020), or close-to-practice research (Wyse et al., 2018). Within the wider literature relating to Practice As Research, there are numerous publications regarding what constitutes practice-based/led research, or how such research can be assessed and evaluated. Similarly, there are many guidelines available that suggest a framework for how to do research ethically with some being more closely aligned with practitioner-research than others. However, there are no publications that relate specifically to how researchers navigate the special ethical conundrums they are encountering when planning, carrying out and disseminating their Practice As Research work.
This edited book aims to fill this gap in the market relating to Practice As Research, practitioner-research, close-to-practice research, practice-based and practice-led enquiries. The book will focus on ethics and ethical considerations in Practice As Research, whilst offering practical strategies and food for thought for how to navigate some of the most typical ethical issues throughout all stages of research from planning, data collection and analysis through to dissemination. And it aims to do that by presenting case studies of ethical concerns and conundrums from a range of disciplines in four broad themes:
- The research process
In what ways is the methodology (re)designed by the participant? To what extent are they credited with the process? Who has the final say in matters of design? This speaks to questions of power and expertise: the researcher may be an expert through their work, and in effective methodologies; yet the participant is the expert in their lived experience, else why would they be approached?
- Relationship between researcher and participant
Positionality: how is this negotiated? How does the researcher see/position themselves? Does this change during the project, and in what ways? The participant may become more of a co-researcher as the project develops; who then has the final say on the presentation of the data, editorial issues etc?
- The researcher’s view of the (ongoing) ethical process
Including challenges experienced in the field, which had not been anticipated by the original ethics form. What are the responsibilities of the researcher, who is arguably more aware of potential ethical issues (e.g. children want to give their names, but adult researchers are perhaps more aware of the potential for harm later in the children’s lives)? Dilemmas – how were these addressed?
- The institutional ethics process
Is this outdated? Are policies designed more to protect the institution and the wider academy, than to facilitate innovative and robust research? This speaks to issues of decolonising ethics and recognising different forms and conventions of consent, and how this is negotiated. Yet how is this recognised from an institutional standpoint, and what are the negotiations involved?
Each chapter will deal with the specificities of ethical considerations during a particular phase of the PAR research, whilst offering insights that will be more generally applicable and relevant and therefore transferrable to new research settings and contexts. In order to emphasise and focus further on the interdisciplinary perspectives of and within the edited book, each chapter will be followed by two critical, reflective, analytical responses from contributors working in disciplines other than the one presented in the chapter. Thereby, we aim to provide further insights into applicability, relevance and transferability of methods and approaches, as well as to enter a dialogue with one another, from which the readers will glean food for critical thought in relation to their own research practices.
Proposals will be considered in relation to the following criteria:
Practice As Research:
Do the ethical issues in the abstract/project/research link with and relate to Practice As Research, practice-led or practice-based enquiries, or close-to-practice research? We do not impose a particular definition or interpretation, but would like to see practitioner-researcher elements addressed.
Range of ethical issues, disciplinary contexts, and phases of research:
To ensure balance in the book, we will try to cover a variety of ethical issues in different phases of research, and more specifically across a wide range of disciplinary contexts.
Deadline for abstract submissions: 25 August 2023
Notification of acceptance: 15 September 2023
Submission of full manuscripts: 31 January 2024
The word limit for abstracts is 350 words.
Full chapters will be 7,500 words in length (incl. references), responses to chapters will be approx. 1,200 words (incl. references).
To submit your proposal, please complete this form: