Can the quality of social research on ethnicity be improved through the introduction of guidance? Findings from a research commissioning pilot exercise

SALWAY, Sarah, BARLEY, Ruth, ALLMARK, Peter, GERRISH, Kate, HIGGINBOTTOM, Gina and ELLISON, George (2012). Can the quality of social research on ethnicity be improved through the introduction of guidance? Findings from a research commissioning pilot exercise. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 15 (5), 385-401.

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Link to published version:: 10.1080/13645579.2011.601890

Abstract

As the volume of UK social research addressing ethnicity grows, so too do concerns regarding the ethical and scientific rigour of this research domain and its potential to do more harm than good. The establishment of standards and principles and the introduction of guidance documents at critical points within the research cycle might be one way to enhance the quality of such research. This article reports the findings from the piloting of a guidance document within the research commissioning process of a major funder of UK social research. The guidance document was positively received by researchers, the majority of whom reported it to be comprehensible, relevant and potentially useful in improving the quality of research proposals. However, a review of the submitted proposals suggested the guidance had had little impact on practice. While guidance may have a role to play, it will need to be strongly promoted by commissioners and other gatekeepers. Findings also suggest the possibility that guidance may discourage some researchers from engaging with ethnicity if it raises problems without solutions; highlighting the need for complementary investments in research capacity development in this area.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Identification Number: 10.1080/13645579.2011.601890
Depositing User: Sarah Salway
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2011 08:49
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2015 06:29
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3799

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