I originally considered the use of OneNote for journalling when making ethical decisions, in my presentation in 2009. It would be good to pick up some of the threads from this again but I need to revise my paper from that conference and pick out the key ideas to refresh my mind. I already have a set of prompts I can use if I am having trouble marshalling my thoughts.
I will use a notebook which is big enough to have spacious pages and small enough that I can carry it with me. It has an integral pouch so I can keep clippings and scraps in one place. These will then be typed up into OneNote using Dragon Naturally Speaking. This needs to be kept on top of, so there’s no great volume to do at any one time. It means that then my journal is as searchable and extractable as my notes from reading and interpretation. I need some sort of paper basis though because I spend as much time away from my PC as sitting at it so I won’t always have access to the software. I also want a handy way of capturing the spur of the moment ideas/insights/links that occur as I’m busy doing other things. (My interpretations will be loaded into OneNote too.)
So, what’s the point of this blog then?
Jasper (2005) suggests making sure that supervisors and trusted colleagues have access to my processual thinking as much as possible to act as a delimiter and sounding board. This seems to me that edited aspects of my journal can be uploaded as blogged entries to allow them to check in and make comments. These might then even form an appendix of the final thesis. I can ask them to do this on a regular basis or generate an email when I’ve added something.
This adds an extra layer of work and possibly of filtration but I think it is preferable as if I just add everything to the blog as I’m going it will be difficult to work with in an holistic way for me working through layers 3 and 4 of my interpretations. It also means it’s not as searchable and linkable (if I were to write straight onto the blog). In addition, the blog is in no way secure – indeed it is deliberately the opposite, so whilst I may need to record specific, potentially identifiable but pseudonym-based reflections and understandings for my own analysis, it is not ethical for these to end up captured in an entirely public medium until consent has been appropriately re-negotiated.
Jasper, M. A. (2005) Using reflective writing within research. Journal of Research in Nursing, 10 (3), pp.247-260.