Book reviews

We’ve had three scholars publish reviews of Doing Qualitative Research in a Digital World since it came out earlier this year. Excerpts are below, with links to the full reviews.

Cover image: Doing Qualitative Research in a Digital World

By Kenza Bennani for the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation:

“Far from being a book for researchers only, it offers useful guidance for evaluators who wish to learn more about how new technologies can transform evaluation practices and be used to create robust evaluation workflows, both in times of COVID-19 and beyond, as we engage new contexts and perspectives and continue to reshape our understanding of ‘fieldwork.'”

By Kate H. Guthrie for the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education:

This text is packed with relevant topics related to engaging in qualitative research in today’s digital world. Regardless of whether one is simply aiming to use digital tools alongside research processes or wishes to research in digital spaces, this text anchors the reader in relevant, critical discourse of qualitative digital tools and spaces.

By Colin Andrew Sharp for the Evaluation Journal of Australasia:

Conducting and reporting evaluations can be stressful, especially in the context of the global pandemic (Maloney, 2020). With the COVID-19 restrictions, evaluators had a problem in common with researchers and teachers: How to make the most of the digital environment of our clients in gathering data and communicating. The new SAGE book Doing Qualitative Research in a Digital World (Paulus & Lester, 2022) should be a useful resource in adapting our data collection and analyses to the continuing digital context.

Many thanks to each of these scholars for taking the time to read and thoughtfully review this book.

Using technology meaningfully in qualitative research

Join Dr. Jessica Lester and I on Sept 16 for a round table discussion at the 6th World Conference on Qualitative Research. Sign up here.

In March, Dr. Lester and I were honored to give the inaugural presentation for the new Explorations in ATLAS.ti Webinar Series hosted by the University of British Columbia Okanogan International Qualitative Research Toolkit. You can watch our presentation about designing and conducting qualitative research here.

Best wishes to everyone as the new academic year approaches.

It’s webinar season!

As we get closer to see our newest book published, we’ve been invited to participate in a series of webinars on the topic of doing qualitative research in a digital world and the topic of analyzing online conversations.

Jessica Lester and I were interviewed by Janet Salmons for Sage MethodSpace and had a very engaging conversation about utilizing online methods.

A few weeks later, Alyssa Wise and I were also interviews by Janet Salmons about designing research studies for the analysis of online talk.

As you can imagine, both topics are highly sought after due to so many social science researchers moving their studies online.

This week Jessica and I had the privilege of presenting the inaugural webinar for the CAQDAS methodological webinar series. It was our first public discussion of our thinking around the intersection of theory, this historical moment, technology use and methodological change.

On Friday I’ll be giving a 3 hour version of the digital tools for qualitative research workshop for participants in Penn State’s Research Methods for Applied Linguists series. Originally we were to hold these workshops on-site back in May, but alas COVID-19.

We have a few more events coming soon – so stay tuned!

New Books Network podcast

Alyssa Wise and I were interviewed by Dr. Pengfei Zhao from the University of Florida for the New Books Network. You can listen to the podcast here.

Last week I taught three courses for the Qualitative Research Summer Intensive, two days on analyzing online conversations and one day on digital tools. A number of people had already read our book and were in the middle of analyzing online conversational data – so that was very exciting.

A couple of weeks ago I participated in ETSU’s Research Computing Summer Webinar Series – you can watch my presentation on qualitative data analysis software here.

We have some upcoming webinars with Sage MethodSpace and QSR NVivo’s Best Practices in methodology series; we will announce those dates soon.

COVID, communication skills, and class visits

Well, a lot has certainly happened since January. COVID for the research world resulted in many events, activities and studies grinding to a halt and/or moving online.

Given the resultant demand for increased guidance in online research methods, Sage is moving up the production of our new book (co-authored with Dr. Jessica Lester) Doing Qualitative Research in a Digital World. Thanks to our multitude of vignette writers, there is lots of practical advice and guidance for doing research with digital tools and in digital spaces. Should be out by the end of this year, I believe.

One rite of passage this past spring was the experience of fully online Zoom dissertation defenses. I had the privilege of being part of Dr. Leslie Anderson’s defense at the University of Georgia.

While my Penn State Research Methods for Applied Linguistics workshop has been postponed until October (you can register for free here), the Qualitative Research Summer Intensive will be held as always at the end of July. My two workshops will be taught full online via Zoom – one on analyzing online talk and the other on digital tools for qualitative research.

Three Quillen medical students, an East Tennessee State University public health student and I were able to get a good bit of data analysis done on our healthcare provider communication skills research study completed as part of Quillen’s summer medical student research program and the Honors College undergraduate summer research fellowship program. We analyzed 122 videos of students doing patient-centered interviews with standardized patients using conversation analysis methods. Sadly the Rutgers University Conversation Analysis Core Skills Workshop & Symposium was cancelled this month, so I wasn’t able to share this data with colleagues there- maybe next summer!

It’s been a busy summer as my first on a 12 month contract. As part of my work with the Applied Social Research Lab we are launching a Faculty Research Cohort here at ETSU to provide skill training and other support. I’ll also be giving a webinar on “What Qualitative Data Analysis Software Can Do For You” for ETSU researchers, and I presented on the same topic earlier this year for both Dr. Lori Roessner and Dr. Lisa Yamagata-Lynch at the University of Tennessee (always nice to be back on Rocky Top, virtually speaking.) I also had the chance to guest lecture for Dr. Jill Channing’s summer Qualitative Research course on the topics of narrative inquiry and the analysis of online talk. Dr. Alyssa and I recently completed a podcast interview with Dr. Pengfei Zhao for the New Books Network which should be out later this month.

Finally, our analysis of patient preferences for route of administration for ARV treatment is now available:

Matza, L.S., Paulus, T.M., Garris, C.P., Van de Velde, N., Chounta, V., & Deger K.A. (2020). Qualitative thematic analysis of social media data to assess perceptions of route of administration for antiretroviral treatment among people living with HIV. The Patient: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research.

Good health and good wishes to all.

Report from Florida

I was fortunate enough to visit Florida last week to give a series of talks about research. First up was a visit to the Community School of Naples, where I got to catch up with Dr. Lisa Scherff and present at a Lunch and Learn Event on What Words Can Do: Social Media and Social Science Research. I was also able to attend several AP Research classes and hear about the student’s current projects – very impressive!


Next up was a stop at The Qualitative Report 2020 Conference, where Dr. Jessica Lester and I gave a keynote address on Frontiers in Qualitative Research.

Later that same day, my former UGA students and I delivered a panel presentation reporting on research findings from studies of social media designed using the process outlined in our new book.

It was a wonderful week, being immersed in qualitative research methods once again!