Researcher Blog by PhD candidate Kathryn Murphy: METHOD conference complete!

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About the author

Kathryn Murphy is a doctoral student in the Communications & Computing Research Centre (CCRC) where she is pursuing a PhD in Media focusing on celebrity culture in YouTube and social media.  Kathryn’s supervisors are: Ruth Deller (Director of Studies) and Kerry McSeveny.

Kathryn is in the first year of her PhD in C3RI and documents her PhD journey on her blog KDM – Musings of a PhD student (where this post was first published). Kathryn recently delivered a paper at the 3rd Annual METHOD conference and in this post she offers her reflections on the experience.


On Wednesday 3rd May, the Cultural, Communications and Computing Research Institute at Sheffield Hallam University held its third METHOD conference – an annual event where students and academics within the SHU research community get together to share thoughts and ideas about the ways in which we develop our methods within research. The organisation team presented the event as an ‘anti-conference’, rejecting the notion of simply sharing findings in favour of articulating methodological processes, challenging traditional approaches and developing ideas through discussions spanning an array of disciplines.

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Image credit: Kathryn Murphy

I presented a 15-minute paper on navigating ethical issues in Internet research where I discussed some of the challenges posed to researchers by the constantly evolving nature of the Internet. In my paper I explored some of the key ethical issues and dilemmas I am facing in preparing to conduct my research, as well as highlighting some of the key texts, guidelines and current debates in online research ethics that have helped me form my own conclusions.

The preparation for my paper took a lot longer than expected and I ended up with a much narrower focus than initially intended as I was very aware of the time constraints with a 15-minute presentation. Originally I had planned to cover four key areas of ethics that are complicated by researching online, however in the end I decided to just focus on one – informed consent – as this could be explored in depth but linked closely to the other ethical considerations so I could mention them briefly too.

The presentation itself went reasonably well and I felt a lot more confident than I had expected, especially when I got into the swing of things; however I ran out of time and had to rush through the last few slides. On reflection, I think I could have planned the time better so I didn’t have to rush through important points at then end so this is definitely a point to improve upon for future presentations.

As a whole I think it was a really valuable experience and a great opportunity to develop my presentation skills, share my ideas and meet other researchers within my institution. I left the day feeling really inspired and proud to be part of such a diverse research community and I’m really pleased I pushed myself to take part as I need all the practice I can get at presenting before my RF2 comes along in October.



Please note: Views expressed are those of the Author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of SHU, C3RI or the C3RI Impact Blog.