Challenges and solutions for collecting data in health research: experiences of Australian doctoral and early career researchers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Inappropriate or poorly conducted data collection methods can reduce the validity or trustworthiness of research findings, which has implications for early career researchers trying to disseminate their work and for participants who have volunteered their time and personal information. In Australia, the National Health and Medical Research Council stipulates a governance process that covers standards of ethical practice and the legal responsibilities of researchers in respecting privacy and maintaining confidentiality and dignity of participants. However, data collection in clinical and community settings remains challenging for doctoral and early career researchers due to the complexities of research governance systems and issues with the involvement of participants in research activities. This chapter aims to report on the governance and fieldwork challenges encountered by the Australian doctoral and early career researchers during data collection. The content for this chapter comes from three doctoral and five early career researchers who each provided a summary of their data collection experiences and participated in virtual group discussions. A thematic analytical framework was used to synthesize and interpret the identified challenges and how researchers addressed them. The major challenges were related to the processes involved in research governance, expertise of researchers, health literacy of participants, fieldwork settings, approaching and designing questions, and research fatigue. In addressing the challenges, researchers drew upon personal qualities of persistence and resilience, a clear understanding of the study’s scope and duration, contextual knowledge about the research setting and study participants, piloting of data collection instruments, and relationships with participants. These findings have implications for how future doctoral researchers might anticipate and address challenges in the data collection, and for Australian supervisors in mentoring national and international doctoral researchers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationField Guide for Research in Community Settings
Subtitle of host publicationTools, Methods, Challenges and Strategies
EditorsM.Rezaul Islam, Niaz Ahmed Khan, Siti Hajar Abu Bakar Ah, Haris Abd Wahab, Mashitah Binti Hamidi
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Chapter2
Pages11-24
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781800376328
ISBN (Print)9781800376311
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameElgar Field Guides
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing

Keywords

  • validity or trustworthiness of research findings
  • National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
  • standards of ethical practice
  • legal responsibilities of researchers
  • data collection in clinical and community settings
  • doctoral and early career researchers

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Challenges and solutions for collecting data in health research: experiences of Australian doctoral and early career researchers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this