When you don’t have data but you have a conference deadline…

…what to do!

I’m faced with the dilemma of having a conference paper to write that needed to have some data in order to write what I had described in my abstract.  Since none of the participants I’ve contacted are able to respond before the conference I’m having to resort to Plan B.

Ok, maybe not resort to Plan B but more like come up with a Plan B!

It’s not as bad as it seems. This month I’ll be presenting at The Seventh Congress of Qualitative Inquiry where my abstract focuses on exploring researcher positionality in a narrative based study.  In my research I’ll be presenting my own story of being a VEM-NEST to my participants in written form and after they have read it, write their own narrative.  I was planning on presenting the experience of using my data collection instrument as an example of how narrative researchers should be aware of how and where they are positioned in their study.

As it stands, I have yet to go through the actual data collection process and so here I am, faced with looking for a Plan B.

It’s not that I have nothing to say, but rather I’m trying to find a way that I can stay as close to my abstract as possible yet making the necessary changes in order to do so.  Sort of chicken before the egg kind of situation.

Or more accurately, can I use any past experiences of data collection and look at this retrospectively?  Some of the research I conducted during my MSc raised this very issue so I’m looking at the possibility of using some of my data there in order to at least put this conference paper in context.

Still, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that at least one of my participants will get back to me in the next two weeks!

One thought on “When you don’t have data but you have a conference deadline…

  1. That’s a tricky question: I kind of had the same problem with my Finland conference, with the added complication that when I got hold of the data it didn’t actually show what was promised in the abstract… I think that if I were you I’d prepare a preliminary version of the presentation based on your ‘old’ data, while leaving open the possibility of replacing them with new ones if your participant comes forward. That’s because I like the reassurance of having a ‘ready’ version at hand, and I think it would be less stressful for me even if it meant more work.


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