Changing my research design

I submitted proposed changes to my research design to my committee today. I had to make these changes in light of COVID-19 eliminating the possibility of in-person fieldwork and the fact that my work has been both delayed and slowed due to not having my regular childcare/daily rhythm.

Here are the changes I’m making:


The consent document will be distributed to participants as a form in Qualtrics; they will certify that by submitting the form, they are consenting to participate in the research.


  1. Information horizon interviews will be conducted remotely via Microsoft Zoom, rather than in person. Participants will draw their information horizon maps, photograph them, and send them to the researcher via email or text. 2.The interview protocol will include a question about the anticipated impact of COVID-19 on the cosplayer’s future information practices.
  2. Instead of inviting broad participation from the cosplay community, the research will use convenience sampling, inviting participation from cosplayers that she met at a con in 2019 and use snowball sampling to find additional participants to invite. She will only open up broad participation if she is unable to meet the minimum number of participants (10) through these methods.
  3. Artifacts for the artifact analysis component will be selected, not based on the sustained, systematic observation of affinity space ethnography as originally described, but based on the responses of participants during the information horizon interview. Historical artifacts may be more prevalent than current artifacts, as most conventions are being postponed or canceled and cosplayers may not be working as intensely to meet cosplay deadlines.
  4. There will be no participant observation.
Kimberly Hirsh @kimberlyhirsh