Internet-mediated research: a reflection on challenges encountered and lessons learnt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. The internet is an exciting and relatively new medium for conducting midwifery research that, to date, only a few midwifery researchers have embraced. The different methodologies used in internet-mediated research (IMR) gives rise to additional challenges for researchers.Aim. This paper aims to provide a personal reflection on some of the challenges encountered and lessons learnt by one researcher who utilised a multi-method IMR research strategy for a doctoral research project.Method. The researcher’s experience is presented as a case study from data that were collected from a reflective journal. Using a first-person writing style, alongside confessional and creative non-fiction vignettes, the author will reflect and discuss challenges encountered and lessons learnt, while using web-based questionnaires and asynchronous online focus groups to conduct a mixed-methods IMR research study.Results. Challenges to using the internet to facilitate health research include ethical, technical, and methodological issues. The researcher’s sustained passion for the topic and the novel methodology provided encouragement to explore ways to manage, resolve, and learn from such challenges. Conclusion. Advances in technology, such as the internet, have extended opportunities for research. Many of the issues reported in this paper are transitional in nature due to the rapid pace of technological development. Significant lessons were learnt that will enhance the researcher’s future research efforts and may help other researchers who decide to use a similar approach for their own research project.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-30
JournalEvidence Based Midwifery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2010


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