Validity, reliability and the case for participant-centred research: Reflections on a multi-platform social media study
AbstractValidity and reliability are long established as central tenets of ensuring good quality research. However, safeguarding validity and reliability can be challenging within the context of multi-platform social media research, as considerations such as access to data or self-selection place caveats upon the generalisability of any study and are exacerbated when multiple platforms are involved. In this paper, I will draw upon examples from a recent empirical study and others to illustrate how these issues can become amplified within the context of multi-platform social media studies. These include: reconsidering the concept of a representative sample across multiple platforms; issues balancing ethical considerations and terms of service in accessing data; and the effect of data repackaging strategies and extent to which similar data from different platforms can be comparable. The paper will conclude by arguing that drawing upon qualitative approaches, particularly a complimentary reframing of the unit of analysis with a focus on particular users as case studies, can ameliorate these issues and strengthen the insight of multi-platform social media studies.
Jordan, Katy <http://oro.open.ac.uk/view/person/klj245.html> (2018). Validity, reliability and the case for participant-centred research: Reflections on a multi-platform social media study. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction (In Press).