Research and Ethics

Research and Ethics

Vera Blue at the Metro Theatre, September 2017. pic by me.

Background Research

As stated in my previous blog post, I’ve struggled to find academic sources on “discovering new music”, however I’m sure something may come up with further searching.

I found multiple articles, such as this one from Vulture. It lists “the best ways” to discover new music according to popular artists such as A$AP Ferg. This does help create a basis for my research, however, with my focus on Australian indie music, there is a lack of articles that actually focus on the genre.

I have realised by the lack of academic sources that currently exist on this topic, a lot of the research that I base my digital artefact and research report on will be quantitative and qualitative research that I actually find myself.

I believe my starting point for research will be simply posing the question “how/where did you first discover *insert band/artist here*?” in the various Facebook groups I’m in for my favourite artists. I will then consider following this up with further related questions.

Reflecting on my own experiences and the ways in which I have discovered various Australian indie bands and artists has also been a starting point for my research. Below is a list of all the ways I’ve found music that I could remember from the top of my head:

Ethical Issues

The expected ethical practices will be put in place throughout my research, digital artefact and research report.

As my research will revolve around music, I will need to ensure I do not commit any copyright breaches. I will also need to be cautious of any biases I hold about anything to do with my niche, and make sure this is not projected in my research or report.

I will also make sure to conduct any interviews or qualitative research with the highest care for the other person/people involved and ensure any privacy or ethical concerns they have are addressed appropriately.

My research will definitely be more qualitative research-based. As Donna Mertens stated, “the ethical principles that guide qualitative researchers are complex because their work involves interactions with community members in ways that are more involved than they are with quantitative researchers” (Mertens, 2014). As this is the case, I will need to be extra careful to ensure all my research is ethical.

Something I also need to take into consideration in my ethical research is a point that Rachel Winter and Anna Lavis bring up on online ethnography: “the necessity of paying attention to listening is drawn to the fore by considering the dynamics of social media” (Winter, Lavis, 2020). The majority of my research, if not all of it, will be conducted online and through social media. Therefore, I need to ensure that I consider the dynamics of communication through online platforms, and that I am listening and communicating to the same standard I would if the interactions were face-to-face.


Mertens, D. 2014. Ethical Use of Qualitative Data and Findings, The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis (Edited by Use Flick), Sage: Los Angeles, 510 – 523

Winter, R & Lavis, A 2020,’ Looking, But Not Listening? Theorizing the Practice and Ethics of Online Ethnography,’ Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, Vol. 15