Is that a finding?

Because Wall-E is too cute.
Because Wall-E is too cute.

(CC by 2.0 from Flickr  – meddygarnet)

This afternoon I had a meeting with my fabulous research supervisor. This was a meeting I absolutely had to have to move forward and muster up the ‘ooomph’ I really needed to complete these final steps.

#blogjune has suffered the last week as my mind has been in my research data. I’ve also frustrated myself to the point where I wanted to sit in a corner and cry. By the way, the crying helped. 🙂 Frustration had arisen from the very high bar I tend to set for myself and having unrealistic expectations of what I can reasonably achieve in the small amount of time I have each night after work, and through the process, keep sane and put on my brave face in front of work colleagues, family and friends. On Monday (being a public holiday), I had a list of tasks which included doing an interview, transcribing the interview, do data analysis and write up my draft findings and discussion sections of my journal article. Ha!

Anyhoo, a meeting with my research supervisor ends with the sky being blue again and all is right in the world of my research project. This then has a ripple effect on other parts of my life, much to my partner’s (boyfriend, defacto, whatever) relief when he gets home from work. Today my research supervisor and I were talking through my RAILS presentation and preliminary findings from the processing so far of my research data. Before I went in to the meeting, these findings were just really hunches. I wasn’t quite sure if they were findings or part of my ‘thinking through it’ process. The last couple of days I had done some analysis from different angles but I struggled to identify when I had stumbled upon an actual finding. As I ruffled through my notes, scribbles of ‘blah’ writing and matrices I thought, ‘is that a finding?’ ‘Or is that a finding?’ ‘Has this analysis come to the end of its road and that’s my finding?’ The question that I needed to ask myself was ‘What does it mean?’

A finding is a statement about something. For example, Australian special librarians use ______ evidence in their daily practice. I didn’t have a statement for my first ‘finding’. Talking through what I actually meant helped me to arrive at my “statement”. A finding is an understanding about something. Thinking about findings like this will help me to know not only what a finding looks like, but also when I’ve come to a finding.

Following my meeting, I thought I’d let the buzz in my brain to settle and mull over what we discussed. There were some pretty cool ideas being teased out! Exciting stuff for evidence-based practice. But I found myself writing a quick journal entry to reflect on it and capture all the main points and things we covered. Then over to here to share my lesson.

Lots of learning through this process this semester and I’m very appreciative for the time my research supervisor was able to give me today and throughout the semester.

I’m A-OK.

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