Part 1: Introduction to methodological innovation

This part of the course provides you with information about the project motivation, aims and objectives; key debates around methodological innovation; the digital context of the MIDAS project research; and MIDAS methodological approach.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the context of the research which provides the foundation for this study guide
  • Engage critically with the notion of methodological innovation
  • Position yourself/your work in the field of methodological boundary crossings

Overall study questions:

  1. What does the term ‘methodological innovation’ mean to you?
  2. In your view, what would make a study methodologically innovative?
  3. What are the key methods in your own discipline?
  4. What are your views of methods from other disciplines?


Exercise 1: MIDAS

a) Listen to Carey Jewitt talking about methodological innovation in the context of the MIDAS project:

b) Read the project proposal: MIDAS

c) Think about the following questions:

  • In what ways does the changing contemporary digital landscape create challenges for research?
  • What are the key challenges for your own research in terms of methods?
  • As an ‘arts’ person or a ‘social science’ person – how do you view the others’ methodological approaches?

Exercise 2: Methodological innovation

a) Read these papers:

Rose Wiles, Helen Pain and Graham Crow (2010) Innovation in qualitative research methods: A narrative review NCRM Working Paper –

Xenitidou, Maria and Gilbert, Nigel (2009) Innovations in Social Science Research Methods. Project Report. N/A.

b) Think about the following questions:

  • What are the key issues and debates around methodological innovation?
  • In your view what would you consider to be an innovative methodological approach?
  • What research contexts might benefit from methodological innovation?

Exercise 3: Creativity and innovation

Listen to Neil Maiden talk about creativity and innovation from one the MIDAS workshops

  • How would you define creativity and/or innovation in your own work?

Other suggested reading:

Nind, Melanie and Wiles, Rose and Bengry-Howell, Andrew and Crow, Graham (2012) Methodological innovation and research ethics : forces in tension or forces in harmony? Qualitative Research, online (1-12). ISSN 1468-7941

Holmquist, L. (2013). The interplay between research and industry: HCI and grounded innovation. In S. Price, C. Jewitt, & B. Brown (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of digital technology research. (pp. 459-473). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

For key terminology definitions and descriptions, see these glossaries: