The 5th LCSS PhD Methodology Conference was held held on 15 June 2017 at University of Westminster, Law School.
The conference aimed to bring PhD students and early-career researchers from diverse social science and humanities disciplines to meet and share their research experiences. The conference addressed the methodological issues in social sciences and humanities. There was a particular focus on research paradigms and designs, research methods and techniques as well as technology and tools. Data sets, collections and data archiving were also discussed, along with research philosophy, epistemological and ontological approaches
The conference programme provided a valuable opportunity for researchers to present their methodological approaches and gain feedback on their studies. It also provided a forum in which research challenges could be explored.
The conference consisted of three parallel panel sessions in the morning and two parallel sessions in the afternoon.
Among the topics featured were:
- Doing Ethnography: Researching Online/Offline Spaces and Positionality.
- The Value of Interviewing and Case Study Research.
- Researching Past and Present: The Use of Archival Documents.
- Methodological Choices and Mixed Research Methods: Challenges and Advantages.
- Analysing Data and Limitations of Quantitative Approaches.
Besides the parallel sessions, the conference hosted three invaluable keynote speakers as well. Dr Maria Iacovou, the director of Social Science Research Methods Centre and reader in Quantitative Sociology at University of Cambridge presented on “Data: Where Does It Come from and Why Does It Matter?”
Prof Will Harvey, associate professor of Management Studies and director of Business, Institutions and Policy Research Cluster at University of Exeter discussed on “Interviewing Elites, Working with Practitioners and Other Fieldwork Challenges”.
While Prof Lisa Webley from University of Westminster, Law School had a keynote speech on “Reflection on Research Ethics as a Means to Design a Methodologically Robust Study”.