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Hear From Expert Dr. Robin Throne

Is Introspection the Key to Effective Research?

By Brittany Haynes on Aug 19, 2019
The use of self-as-subject research, including autoethnography and heuristic inquiry, by doctoral-level researchers has exponentially increased within the last century, adding relevance and support for this type of research within the academic community. This research focuses on introspective elements in order to obtain and analyze data, but some view this research method as less “academic” than conventional methods. Furthermore, self-as-subject research can create discomfort for the researcher when exploring difficult emotions.

Based on the need for more research on this topic and this debate, expert Dr. Robin Throne, doctoral research supervisor for Northcentral University, USA, and author of the publication Autoethnography and Heuristic Inquiry for Doctoral-Level Researchers: Emerging Research and Opportunities, provides insight into this publication and her specific areas of research in the IGI Global interview below.

What inspired you to pursue research activities in autoethnography and heuristic inquiry?

Fortunately, we are now in the post-qualitative research era and thus know well that a sample of one, namely a sample of self, adds valuable knowledge discoverable from the lived experience of self. These self-as-subject research methods allow doctoral researchers to take the deep dive into their lived experience to explore a phenomenon of inquiry appropriate for doctoral-level inquiry. As I have guided doctoral researchers to do this work using these methods, I have found this deep introspection has allowed them to gain new insights into the essential meaning of the phenomenon and often transcend the past lived experience to articulate findings that may also have meaning for others or offer societal implications.

Why are your respective areas of research important to the field at large?

As an educational methodologist, I have had the privilege to supervise doctoral research across several disciplines in doctoral education and have worked with many of my graduates to disseminate their research after graduation. Further, they often pursue an ongoing research agenda or become effective consumers of research as they return to the discipline as a professional practitioner. As my research agenda has evolved specifically over the past five years, I have incorporated a rewarding and fulfilling social justice education thread that I now bring to all of my new work and the research of my doctoral candidates that I supervise.

What are the future directions of your research areas?

I am excited to edit a forthcoming book for IGI Global, set for release in 2020, that incorporates autoethnography and my ongoing social justice research threads involving voice and land dispossession among indigenous cultures. Over the past few years, I have become intrigued with the construct of agency and the philosophies found within land-based cultures to develop agency from and relationships with the land. The contributing authors, using autoethnography, will offer these very human, intrinsic, and experiential self-focused introspection of phenomena and potentially offer new insights into these constructs.

What are some other evolving research trends you have observed in your industry/field over the past several months and what would you say are some of the innovative research directions you foresee in the future? How do you feel your publication sets the pace for these innovations?

The use of autoethnography and heuristic inquiry has expanded across disciplines in doctoral education and has been adopted for use to address numerous research problems of inquiry. Due to the many variations in data collection and analysis methods as well as data representations within self-as-subject research, the objective of my text is to offer the array of examples used for published doctoral research. In offering this guide in addition to the many how-to textbooks that already exist for self-as-subject research, my goal is to offer doctoral candidates several illustrations for how to customize methods within autoethnography or heuristic inquiry for their doctoral research.

What has your experience been like publishing with IGI Global?

Publishing with IGI Global has allowed me to contribute new work across my diverse research interests, including doctoral education, voice and land dispossession, social justice education, and self-as-subject research methods. I appreciate the IGI Global mission to disrupt the scholarly publishing community with its systematic process for expert peer review and inter/transdisciplinary subject areas. I continue to value the opportunities to edit new works as well as publish within IGI Global journals and books to encourage and collaborate with my doctoral candidates and to enter the scholarly academic publishing community.
IGI Global would like to thank Dr. Throne for sharing her research on autoethnography, heuristic Inquiry, and research methods. For more information about this research, view the publication here.
Dr. Throne’s publication, Autoethnography and Heuristic Inquiry for Doctoral-Level Researchers: Emerging Research and Opportunities, is available through IGI Global’s Online Bookstore and world-renowned InfoSci®-Books, a database of 5,300+ reference books with over 100,000 full-text chapters in 11 core subject areas including business, education, science and engineering, library science and more.

InfoSci-Books hosts key features such as full-text PDF and HTML format, no DRM, unlimited simultaneous users, and no embargo of content (research is available months in advance of the print release), as well as includes IGI Global’s Open Access (OA) Fee Waiver (Read and Publish) Initiative, which provides their institution with an additional source of OA article processing charge (APC) funding.*

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of IGI Global.
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