Third year students at Caius have gained an early taste of academic publication, co-authoring a paper in a prestigious journal alongside an international team of scientists co-led by their former Director of Studies, Dr David Rose (now at UEA), with Juliette Young (CEH) and Nibedita Mukherjee (Exeter).
The three undergraduates, Jay Shah (Management, formerly Geography), Esha Marwaha (Geography), and Stephen Parkinson (Geography) - pictured first and second left and far right in our photograph, provided a key contribution to the paper, which provides guidance on how academics should conduct and report on interviews effectively in conservation research. The research is published this week in Methods in Ecology and Evolution.
The students’ painstaking role saw each review some 30 academic papers that had included interviews in their methodologies, and examine whether the researchers had paid careful attention to how the interviews were carried out, and the findings reported.
Their research revealed interviews used as evidence in academic papers are not always consistently conducted and described. To address the problem, the students – with the help of the wider team - created a methodological guide for future researchers to follow.
Dr Rose said the students had followed a strict protocol in their review process, and produced “findings that formed a key part of the final academic paper”. He said: “The paper finds that methodological decisions are not being fully reported in published papers, restricting the ability of readers to make a judgement about the robustness of the research design. I’m also delighted that Esha is keen to pursue an academic career, and I’m sure that this publication will be one of many for her!”
The team highlights key messages for researchers, journal editors, and reviewers, in order that crucial pieces of information about the use of interviews are included in future papers or supplementary material.
Caius and the Department of Geography are very proud of the students, Dr Rose added. “It’s very unusual for undergraduates to gain publication in a high impact factor academic journal. The students are looking forward to citing themselves in their dissertations when talking about how to conduct interviews (and to all their peers citing them too!).”
The paper is available here: http://bit.ly/2D3uZYA