In 2018 IJSRM ran a competition for papers written by early career researchers (ECRs) who were either current doctoral students or in their first three years of post-doctoral employment. Our aim was to encourage and recognise research and contributions from new scholars in current and emerging methodological debates and practice.
All entries were subject to the Journal’s usual refereeing processes and had to reach our normal publishing standard. The winners were selected by a sub-panel of members of the IJSRM Editorial Board and the Journal Editors. The panel identified two articles as joint winners of the ‘Best ECR Article’. Both have been made free to access until the end of 2019.
Fabio Hirschhorn’s article reflected on application of the Delphi method. Fabio, who is a PhD candidate at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, explains:
I reflect on the use of the Delphi method in the context of research on the governance of public transport services. The Delphi has become a tool to address varied research questions, producing and employing both quantitative and qualitative information, in a multiplicity of scientific fields, also helping achieve several types of outcomes beyond only consensus. This flexibility for researchers to tailor a survey according to specific needs while still keeping core features that ensure the scientific robustness of the method, is, in my view, the greatest merit of the Delphi.
Nicole Brown’s article reflecting on using identity boxes to elicit experiences. Nicole, who is a PhD candidate at the University of Kent, and a Lecturer in Education and an Academic Head of Learning and Teaching based at the UCL Institute of Education, UK, explains:
I consider the identity boxes and their contents as data in themselves, analysing them using not a more conventional form of qualitative analysis but also a less traditional arts-based method that led to an artistic installation and an illustrated poem. I found that these representations spoke to audiences in a way that the written word could not. What is most intriguing for me about this material approach is the depth of data that emerges through asking participants to engage with research questions intuitively.
Nicole and Fabio remarked on what winning the IJSRM ECR prize means to them:
Nicole: Being told that my work was awarded IJSRM’s “Best ECR Article” prize was particularly special. Not only has my work been deemed worthy of publication, the editorial board and journal editors, who are all eminent academics in the field, have given my work their seal of approval. I have always enjoyed learning about, experimenting with and teaching research methods and to me this prize now confirms that my work contributes to the advancement of the field.
Fabio: It is a great honor to win the ‘Best Early Career Researcher Article’ prize from a prestigious outlet as the International Journal of Social Research Methodology. This prize is a great incentive to early career researchers whose work is seldom recognized. In my case, this achievement not only makes me very proud about my past effort, but also motivates me to further strive to produce high-quality and high-impact research in coming years.
Many congratulations to Fabio and Nicole!