Auto/biographical method and its potential to contribute to nursing research

Hugill, Kevin (2012) Auto/biographical method and its potential to contribute to nursing research. Nurse Researcher, 20 (2). pp. 28-32.

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Aim To discuss the potential contribution of ‘auto/ biography’ to nursing research.

Background Auto/biographical research approaches involve researchers reflexively recognising that their intellectual and personal biographies are inseparable from the way that they conduct research, from defining research topics and questions and deciding on methods to conducting the research, analysing data and determining findings.

Discussion This paper focuses on the components of auto/biography and considers the usefulness and downsides of incorporating it into research. The author explains how greater recognition of the effects of self on research and vice versa is important when aiming to produce transparent, accountable knowledge.

Implications for research/practice Nurse researchers should be encouraged to engage in the process of reflexivity in a way that acknowledges the effects of their personal and intellectual life stories on their research. This will help them develop more nuanced and accountable research records.

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