Awareness, Engagement and Overload – The Roles We All Play

tl; dr

An increase in email traffic constitutes an increase in workload, and viceversa. But what’s key is that email per se is workload. The very awareness of email, and of a known/expected amount of email, implies a cognitive load, and excessive cognitive load is stressful.

The recent HEPI Report on Mental Health in Higher Education shows “a big increase in the number of university staff accessing counselling and occupational health services”, with “new workload models” and “more directive approaches to performance management” as the two main factors behind this rise (Morish 2019).

  • What is our own role in organisational information behaviours that are contributing to feelings of burn-out and exhaustion?
  • What do we need to do differently, and what circumstances do we need first in order to plan for that?
  • How can we foster a culture of collegial engagement with collective tasks, and what are the right technologies to help us achieve that, and which ones aren’t?

An awareness that we all play a role in creating extra workload and most likely stress for others is a good place to start. But it’s only that, a beginning. The real challenge is how to get from awareness of the problem to solutions that go beyond the individual.

 

 

Full-Length Insomniac Version

It’s that time of the year in which I can’t sleep well (or at all) thinking about work. It’s that season when I do more than 10 hours solid (lunch at desk when lucky) in the office, marking, wrangling spreadsheets, emailing, seeing students and doing everything else that I need to do as part of my life as an academic with research aspirations and teaching responsibilities. I know I’m not the only one and I know people who do more than that. I am not gloating nor complaining- it is what it is. (I don’t think this routine should be imitated if you can).

A huge challenge for us working in relatively large organisations is how to fulfill our duties successfully, employing the means provided to us to do them, within the time at our disposal.  I lead a large module taken by all the Postgraduate students from a range of different programmes in a single Department. This year 255 students were registered in the module. (This is not the only thing I do- but it’s the task that motivates this reflection).

Part of my role is to manage the marking of their final coursework, which is marked by 30 different members of staff from across the Department (including me). My challenge as I see it has been to ensure both students and colleagues are aware of what needs doing, how and when and that any essential information is not lost in the ether amongst the hundreds of daily messages and simultaneous tasks and deadline everyone has as well. How to do that briefly, when the tasks and context are complex and must be performed systematically, and how not do contribute negatively to the feeling of overload?

I think a lot about information and about the way we use information technologies in Higher Education and in the workplace. I am often vocal about how email has almost completely taken over all other tasks and modes of working, or at least has come to significantly define them.

It’s not just a question of volume but of mode: enhanced by mobile emailing apps, mobile-and-desktop multi-app integration (for example email-drive-calendar, adding to that platforms like Moodle and their messaging boards) and the multiplication of tasks and individuals and groups one single staff member needs to be in contact with, there is growing usage of email as an instant messaging service or SMS- responses and engagement is often immediate, in real time.

As a result the user experience may be that the pressure or the expectation is that email should always-already be immediate and in real time. Add flexible working and communciation with staff permanently or temporarily based overseas and the email traffic is literally 24/7, every single minute of the 24-hour day.

There are, indeed, strategies to manage expectations, for example through email signature messages (“I work flexibly; I don’t expect you to reply outside your working day”), or out of office messages (the latter also contributing to incoming email) where information is provided about a user’s working context. However, as these strategies are often implemented individually and not systematically across an organisation, they are at best personal disaster mitigation measures.

For too long email behaviour in large organisations has been self-regulated by individuals. Disparities in seniority and hierarchy play a role in who gets to set the expectations, but the whole range of potential expectations is not necessarily, to its full extent, the result of a previously agreed written policy. Essentially, almost every practically significant detail about how organisations should use email is left unsaid and individuals and groups are left most literally to their own devices.

Over time I suppose even large organisations may get to develop their own ways of working that may be more or less satisfactory for their members, but in many in today’s higher education institutions the shared experience of staff (and also students sometimes!) is that there is way too much email, too much information, it’s too easy to miss important information (with serious consequences) and it’s not clear at all how to change things for the better.

The recent Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) Report on Mental Health in Higher Education shows “a big increase in the number of university staff accessing counselling and occupational health services”, with “new workload models” and “more directive approaches to performance management” as the two main factors behind this rise (Morish 2019).

The HEPI report is alarming, not because it documents things we didn’t know, but because many of us in the sector knew those things well. The collective evidence is indicative of a sector-wide issue which is getting endemic across industries. Just three days before the HEPI report was published,  Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, published the results of a survey of over 850 members from 238 organisations revealing an “epidemic of stress related illness and massive mental health issues, among people employed by charities and NGOs.”

It is clear to me that an increase in email traffic constitutes an increase in workload, and viceversa. But what’s key is that email per se is workload. Information overload causes cognitive overload, there is not even a need to open an email, to read it or act on it, for it to already imply a load. The very awareness of email, and of a known/expected amount of email, implies a cognitive load.

Excessive cognitive load is stressful. I am not sure this is recognised most of the times. On the one hand email seems to have become, as I said above, the main way we work today (except when teaching or attending meetings, but not even then, as it’s known lecturers and even committee chairs do email from the lecture theatre or the meeting room). On the other hand, however, email is often perceived as invisible- like ideology, it appears to exist without the need to think of it. Email as an act of nature, as unquestionable status quo, not as a means to an end but as an end that never ends. It’s no longer a tool, but a way of being.

The cycle is then of higher workloads – higher email traffic – higher workload – higher stress. This is a vicious cycle, and it should not be considered to be normal. What must not be forgotten is that for most academic staff emailing is not really the main job- a considerable amount of essential tasks academics perform need to be done outside email, even if all of them will require emailing at some point.

So these are some of the things that keep me awake at night in times like this.

  • What is our own role in organisational information behaviours that are contributing to feelings of burn-out and exhaustion?
  • What do we need to do differently, and what circumstances do we need first in order to plan for that?
  • How can we foster a culture of collegial engagement with collective tasks, and what are the right technologies to help us achieve that, and which ones aren’t?

Central dashboards and project management tools are good ideas, but they don’t work unless they truly substitue email for specific pruposes and do not cause duplication of effort as they can do when they have not been set up and mandated centrally by management policy.

In my own professional experience using online project management tools, unless members go and check the tool themselves an email reminder has to be sent out- and there one of the main goals of using the tool in the first instance is lost.

As we know, the balance between being flexible and being systematic is hard to strike- it’s also really difficult to make sure everyone is on board or on the same page without appropriate organisational information behaviour cultures.

Perhaps beginning with this awareness that we all play a role in creating extra workload and most likely stress for others is a good place to start. But it’s only that, a beginning. The real challenge is how to get from awareness of the problem to solutions that go beyond the individual.


And then that feeling- have I just made it all way worse by writing a long post no one will have time to read?

References

Morish, Liz. (23 May 2019). Pressure Vessels: The epidemic of poor mental health among higher education staff , HEPI Occasional Paper 20. Available from https://www.hepi.ac.uk/2019/05/23/new-report-shows-big-increase-in-demand-for-mental-health-support-among-higher-education-staff/ [Accessed 30 May 2019].

Unite. (20 May 2019). Charity workers suffering an epidemic of mental health issues and stress, survey reveals. Available from https://unitetheunion.org/news-events/news/2019/may/charity-workers-suffering-an-epidemic-of-mental-health-issues-and-stress-survey-reveals/ [Accessed 30 May 2019].

 

 

 

 

An Interview with Peter Wilkins re: Parables of Care

I interviewed Peter Wilkins a few days ago for the Parables of Care blog, and I have copied and pasted the post below:

Dr Peter Wilkins, Douglas College
Dr Peter Wilkins, Douglas College

Dr Peter Wilkins is the Research and Innovation Coordinator at Douglas College (Canada), and he manages programs for at-risk youth for the Douglas College Training Group. Peter is a founding editor (with David N. Wright) of Graphixia and the Deputy Editor of The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship.

Peter worked in partnership with Dr Simon Grennan of the University of Chester, Dr Ernesto Priego of City, University of London, and an NHS Trust, to produce Parables of Care.

We asked Peter some questions about working on Parables of Care.

What is it that most interested you about Care’N’Share as a resource?

Peter Wilkins: Care‘N’Share gives a startling insight into the caregivers’ relationship to the dementia situation and their patients. I think we were all struck by the power of the stories even though they often occur in the most mundane settings. If we looked at it from a literary or narrative point of view, the stories often begin in realist mode and then suddenly shift into a surrealist or absurdist one.

The caregiver is like a character who passes through the wardrobe into a Narnia painted by Salvador Dali. Or like Marlowe going into the Congo in Heart of Darkness. They bring back something that gives us a glimpse into an alternative reality that shocks and frightens us. The uncanniness of the stories made me think of an untapped potential in using art, not as therapy, but as a means of accounting for dementia in a way that medical discourse doesn’t allow us to do.

http://carenshare.city.ac.uk/

Some stories in Parables of Care appear to be more or less difficult to ‘get’. What was the thinking behind it?

PW: Well, dementia is difficult to ‘get.’ Indeed, it is what philosophers would call sublime, unpresentable. This is where the idea of parable as a form or genre comes from and why we were so interested in the stories in the app. They are stories of practical reason, of enigmatic utility, of not knowing what to do in a difficult situation. This quality of the stories lends to the caregivers a kind of poetic heroism: they are faced with demands from the other side of rationality, dementia world, that they have to respond to in creative ways. So our conclusion was that caregivers are poets. To present the comics as easy solutions to the difficult problems of caring for people with dementia would not do justice to the caregivers.

On a related note, we were not interested in using the comics medium as a way of making things appear simple, in an “instrumental” use of comics. We don’t care for the idea of comics as simplistic communication; we care for the idea of comics as provocative works of art that will make their audience think and think again. It was great to work with Simon because he understands this through and through, and his drawings work really well at managing the audience’s response.

Peter Wilkins and members of the Douglas College Psychiatric Nursing team participate remotely at a Parables of Care workshop at City, 22 March 2017
Dr Peter Wilkins and members of the Douglas College Nursing team participate remotely with City Publishing & Creative Industries and HCID participants at a Parables of Care workshop, 22 March 2017, City, University of London

You are based in Vancouver, Canada. Can you tell us more about Douglas College‘s involvement in Parables of Care?

PW: We want to produce a companion volume to Parables that depicts the attitudes towards, and knowledge about, dementia from faculty and students across our Health Sciences faculty. We are working with focus groups from a range of programs, from Nursing through Dental Assisting, to generate material for the comic. The enthusiasm for the project here is tremendous, so we are very excited.

We are involving students in the work, which is important to us. They are running the focus groups and collecting the data. We have a young artist who has more experience in video game design than comics, but she is very committed and enthusiastic. It will be interesting to see how her work plays off of Simon [Grennan]’s. Sarah Leavitt, whose Tangles: A Story of Alzheimer’s, My Mother and Me is a groundbreaking graphic memoir on the subject, is consulting on the project, working with the artist.

Cover of Tangles, by Sarah Leavitt (Broadview Press, 2010)
Cover of Tangles, by Sarah Leavitt (Broadview Press, 2010)

A number of people from the faculty have told me about how they are professional caregivers, but when one of their family members has been struck by dementia they have been incapable of dealing with it. I’m interested in capturing those stories.

In any event, I see Parables of Care as the beginning of a much larger project that explores and documents dementia in comic book form.

Did you identify differences in how Canada and the UK approach dementia care?

PW: I can’t answer this question yet, but I hope to have some clues as we compare the data we collect with that from the Care‘N’Share app. I suspect that there will be differences and that they will be meaningful because even within Canada the different caregiving disciplines that engage with dementia don’t seem to communicate with each other that much. There are all kinds of gaps in the responses. I hope that the project allows people who work with dementia sufferers and their families to connect some dots and work towards a more holistic and universal approach to care.

There’s more than a hundred cases in Care’N’Share. As an editor, how did you approach the collection?

Our approach was to identify cases that represented particular strands of the dementia situation. While each case is unique, the stories do fall into categories: broken analogies, misrecognition, confinement and a desire for freedom and so on. What is important is that there are lots of satisfying though enigmatic eureka moments, where the undoubtable horror of dementia is relieved temporarily by the caregiver’s sympathy and genius.

Parables of Care can be downloaded as a PDF file, under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, from City Research Online: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/18245/.

If you live in the UK you can request printed copies at no cost here.

This post was originally published on the Parables of Care blog on 19 October 2017 at https://blogs.city.ac.uk/parablesofcare/2017/10/19/parables-of-care-a-qa-with-peter-wilkins/. If links to embedded media appear broken it is because the original post may have been changed or undergoing maintenance.

An Interview with Simon Grennan re: Parables of Care

I interviewed Simon Grennan last week for the Parables of Care blog, and I have copied and pasted the post here.

 

Dr Simon Grennan, University of Chester
Dr Simon Grennan, University of Chester

Dr Simon Grennan, is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Art and Design at the Department of Art and Design, University of Chester. He is an internationally acclaimed contemporary artist, comics scholar and author of over 40 comics and artists’ books.

Simon worked in partnership with Dr Ernesto Priego of City, University of London, Dr Peter Wilkins of Douglas College, Vancouver, Canada and an NHS Trust, to produce Parables of Care.

We asked Simon some questions about working on Parables of Care.

What was your first impression of the Care’N’Share stories?

Simon Grennan: I was immediately fascinated by the combination of descriptions of emotional/physical challenges and the extreme brevity of the case studies. The stories told by carers already conformed to a rather strict pattern derived from a proforma, designed to enable speedy access to the information that each story provides, for readers. This might have denuded the case studies of their affective aspects, but in fact, it focused and intensified them. That was immediately striking and interesting.

 

http://carenshare.city.ac.uk/

 

What was the most challenging for you in the drawing process?


SG: The editorial task for Peter, Ernesto and I involved considering how this combination of emotional impact, information and brevity could be visualised. The concept of the parable offered an accurate description of the stories as told by carers: the original stories already had the effect of parables.

We lighted upon a key aspect of the parable – its function of representing big effects (issues, truths, significant ideas) by small means. This ‘big in small’ characteristic was actually quite easy to visualise, because there is a great range of visual models, particularly in the history and traditions of the comic strip: visual gags, for example.

We immediately thought of the four panel Japanese ‘yonkoma joke strips, which follow a set pattern for divisions of action. The form both produces and disperses ambiguity. That’s the way in which it works as a visual joke. Although the Care’N’Share stories aren’t jokes, by any means, part of their ‘parable’ character articulates exactly this manipulation of clarity and ambiguity. This seemed like a form particularly suited to these particular stories about dementia care, in which initial challenges to capacity, comprehension and communications are overcome by creative means.

In each story, there is a challenging scenario resulting from a specific experience of dementia, which is then reflected/acted up and finally resolved. For me, the task was then to visually articulate this balance of ambiguity and clarity in the narrative drawing, first creating a level of affective unclarity in the reader that I then develop and finally resolve.

As with visual jokes, creating the right affective balance between ambiguity and clarity is the main task. Too much ambiguity and the reader doesn’t know what’s happening. To much clarity and the reader has no emotional stake in the story. In both of these scenarios, the joke (or in this case, affect) disappears and the story fails.

I hope that I’ve managed to get the balance right! If so, each story should function as a parable, packing a lot of emotional punch (and taking the reader from ambiguity to clarity) with very few means.

 

 Dr Simon Grennan during one of the Parables of Care workshops, 22 March 2017, City, University of London
Dr Simon Grennan during one of the Parables of Care workshops, 22 March 2017, City, University of London

 

‘A Theory of Narrative Drawing’: what theoretical principles did you apply in Parables of Care?


That’s an interesting question. My new book A Theory of Narrative Drawing seeks to explain experiences of drawn stories, but it’s not quite a handbook for drawing stories! However, one of the interesting things about Parables of Care is its self-announcing, overt reliance upon the reader to articulate the visual story and the story world. Of course, the reader always undertakes this articulation, in every story.

However, in Parables of Care, this is entirely due to the creation of ambiguity in each story. These are stories where a reader feels that they can or are making mistaken readings or, if the stories don’t clarify themselves for some readers, they think that the stories are simply incoherent or/and badly told. It is only when a reader realises that ‘making mistakes’ is an affective substitute for aspects of the experiences of dementia that are told about in each story, for example, that the sensation of ambiguity is transformed, located and resolved. This is entirely the type of affective reading that A Theory of Narrative Drawing explains.

 

What are you hoping Parables of Care can achieve?


SG: I hope that Parables of Care will focus attention on the emotional aspects of dementia care. We have worked hard to introduce readers to the (largely non-clinical) experience of dementia care by providing them with affective sensations of ambiguity, including a sense of inexplicable altered capacity, frustration and maybe a sense of powerlessness. These sensations are turned around and articulated in each story, retaining the emotional intelligence and creativity of the resolutions to challenging situations. The reader goes throught this process too, and reaches a similar clarity and resolve.

Parables of Care can be downloaded as a PDF file, under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, from City Research Online: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/18245/.

If you live in the UK you can request printed copies at no cost here.

This interview was originally published at https://blogs.city.ac.uk/parablesofcare/2017/10/12/parables-of-care-a-qa-with-simon-grennan/. If links to embedded media appear broken it is because the original post may have been changed or undergoing maintenance.

Parables of Care: A Comic About Dementia Care, Available for Free

Parables of Care unboxed

I am very pleased that Parables of Care. Creative Responses to Dementia Care, as Told by Carers is now available. It is a 16-page publication presenting true stories of creative responses to dementia care, as told by carers.

  • Parables of Care can be downloaded as a PDF file, under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, from City Research Online: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/18245/.
  • If you live in the UK you can request printed copies at no cost here.

The stories were adapted from a group of over 100 case studies available at http://carenshare.city.ac.uk.

Parables of Care is a project of the Centre for Human Comuter Interaction Design, City, University of London, The University of Chester, UK, and Douglas College, Vancouver, Canada.

Parables of Care was edited and adapted by Dr Simon Grennan (University of Chester) Dr Ernesto Priego (City, University of London) and Dr Peter Wilkins (Douglas College).  Parables of Care was drawn by Dr Simon Grennan with Christopher Sperandio.

Research has shown that comics have the potential to have a positive impact on the health and quality of life of people who engage in comics reading and creation, contributing to transform attitudes, awareness and behaviour around illness and contributing to create new opportunities for empowerment and more positive behaviour (Cardiff University 2014). Parables of Care explores the potential of comics to enhance the impact of dementia care research in particular.

Parables of Care seeks to make a contribution to enhancing the public impact of the best practices in dementia care resulting from City HCID research by exploring and embracing the communicative affordances of graphic storytelling in general and graphic medicine in specific.

We hope that Parables of Care contributes to enabling stronger links between academia, dementia care practice and comics scholars and practitioners.

The response so far has been amazing. Read this review by John Freeman at the British Comics site Down the Tubes, published shortly after we announced the comic publicly.

Stay tuned for news regarding distribution points, events and more information about the project!

Parables of Care received funding from the MCSE School Impact Fund, City, University of London 2016-2017.

 

Adapting Dementia Care Best Practice Data into Comics: Enhancing Impact Through Graphic Medicine

 Illustration from Wrinkles, a graphic novel by Paco Roca (© Knockabout Comics, 2015)
Illustration from Wrinkles, a graphic novel by Paco Roca (© Knockabout Comics, 2015)

It’s been an incredibly busy year, at work and at home, in professional circles and in the wider public, political arena. As a keen advocate of blogging as a key component of scholarly communications and the research life cycle, I’ve regretted being too busy (or too exhausted) to blog more frequently. As the academic term draws to an end and we approach the Christmas holidays, I feel I have a lot of engagement and dissemination work I have to catch up with. This post is one attempt of doing so.

I am very pleased to share that this year I joined the Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design (HCID) at City, University of London. The Centre has a strong track record of research into accessible and interactive technologies and methods for people with disabilities and to support creativity in mental health (particularly for dementia care).

My own recent collaborative research has focused on Graphic Medicine, i.e the study, design and delivery of creative, therapeutic and educational uses of graphic narratives (comics, cartoons) for mental health care provision and public engagement.

I am very pleased that my application to obtain internal funding from the School to support activities and strategies to develop impact from HCID’s previous and ongoing research on these areas was successful.  This is a modest internal award to support strategies to enhance the ‘public impact’ of recent academic outputs (2013-2016). Our proposal seeks to connect the dots between previous and ongoing work on dementia care and graphic medicine.

We will be organising knowledge exchange workshops with the participation of HCID researchers, mental health professionals, comics scholars and comics artists. The workshops will focus on the exploration, discussion, reuse and adaptation into comics of the dementia care best practice data collected and made available by the Care’N’Share project, which crowdsourced, curated and aggreagated a significant dataset of case studies of best practices for dementia care (Zachos et al, 2013; Maiden et al, 2016).

Our ongoing study on ‘Graphic Medicine’ as a Mental Health Information Resource engaged with members of the creative industries involved in the creation and publishing of comic books with mental health topics and mental health care students and professionals in partnership with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust (Priego & Farthing 2016, Farthing & Priego, 2016b). The research shows the need of further knowledge exchange between academics, those creating graphic medicine materials, mental health care practitioners and members of the public.

Our proposal seeks to address and respond to these findings through graphic medicine workshops and the creation of deliverables in comics (print and online) form. Initially, we will host comics workshops at City, University of London between late February and April 2017. We will focus primarly in working together to explore and discuss the Care’N’Share dataset and the different possibilities in which the data can be adapted into comics form, leading to the creation, distribution and user testing of a professional comics publication, under the artistic direction of Dr Simon Grennan. We will be sending out public and personalised invitations to participate in the workshops and to provide feedback in early 2017.

The end users will be those interested in dementia care (carers, mental health professionals, patients, relatives, members of the public interested in comics and/or mental health). They will benefit by gaining knowledge about the best practices for dementia care collected and the affordances of graphic medicine to make these practices communicated more widely and distributed in an accessible form.

Carers and people with dementia, care homes and health trusts are logical beneficiaries of enhanced impact of dementia care research, but so is society at large: it is estimated 750,000 people suffer from dementia in the UK alone. It is predicted that by 2051 dementia will affect “a third of the population either as a sufferer, relative or carer” (Zachos et al, 2013; Wimo and Prince, 2010).

Research shows that comics have the potential to have a positive impact on the health and quality of life of people who engage in comics creation (for example by participating in workshops) or reading (publications), contributing to transform attitudes, awareness and behaviour around illness and contributing to create new opportunities for empowerment and more positive behaviour (Cardiff University 2014).

Ours is a small initiative that seeks to make a contribution to enhancing the public impact of the best practice data resulting from research by exploring and embracing the communicative affordances of graphic storytelling in general and graphic medicine in specific. We hope that by enabling stronger links between academia, dementia care practice and comics scholars and practitioners, we will be taking steps in the right direction.

Apart from HCID staff, key partners whose support was essential for this proposal are Professor Neil Maiden (Cass Business School, City, University of London), Dr Simon Grennan, Anthony Farthing from the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Damon Herd from the Dundee Comics Creative Space and Dr Peter Wilkins and the Psychiatric Nursing Programme at Douglas College in Vancouver, Canada. Our gratitude to all of them. We cannot wait to start working together.

References

Cardiff University (2014). Improving HIV/AIDS education and support in KwaZulu-Natal through comics drawing. REF2014 Impact Case Study. Available from http://impact.ref.ac.uk/CaseStudies/CaseStudy.aspx?Id=3582. Accessed: 14 December 2016.

Zachos, K., Maiden, N., Pitts, K., Jones, S., Turner, I., Rose, M., Pudney, K. & MacManus, J. (2013). A software app to support creativity in dementia care. Paper presented at the 9th ACM Conference on Creativity & Cognition, 17-06-2013 – 20-06-2013, Sydney, Australia. http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/3837/ .

Maiden, N., Schubmann, M., McHugh, M., Lai, A.Y. & Sulley, R. (2016). Evaluating the Impact of a New Interactive Digital Solution for Collecting Care Quality In-formation for Residential Homes. Paper presented at the 30th British Human Computer Interaction Conference, 11-15 Jul 2016, Bournemouth, UK. http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/15127/.

Priego, E. & Farthing, A. (2016). ‘Graphic Medicine’ as a Mental Health Information Resource: Insights from Comics Producers. The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship, 6, doi: 10.16995/cg.74  http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/13441/ .This research was presented at the Graphic Medicine Conference 2016, 7-9 July 2016, University of Dundee, UK.

Farthing, A. & Priego, E. (2016). Data from ‘Graphic Medicine’ as a Mental Health Information Resource: Insights from Comics Producers. Journal of Open Health Data, 4(1), e3. doi: 10.5334/ohd.25. http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/15251/ .

Wimo A. & Prince M., 2010, ‘World Alzheimer Report 2010: The Global Economic impact of Dementia. Available from http://www.alz.co.uk/research/worldreport.  Accessed: 14 December 2016.

New Publication: Data Paper. Data from Graphic Medicine… Insigths from Comics Producers

Open Health Data logo

Excited to have a new co-authored peer-reviewed publication, a data paper on the Journal of Open Health Data:

Farthing, A. & Priego, E., (2016). Data from ‘Graphic Medicine’ as a Mental Health Information Resource: Insights from Comics Producers. Open Health Data. 4(1), p.e3. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ohd.25

In the paper we describe a dataset containing the full text transcripts from 15 semi-structured interviews (approximately 44,100 words) conducted during November and December 2014 with participants involved in various aspects of the process of health-related comics production. These participants are authors and publishers and their work is publicly recognised in the comics community.

An initial domain analysis of the interviews was published on 8 February 2016 as Farthing, A., & Priego, E. (2016). ‘Graphic Medicine’ as a Mental Health Information Resource: Insights from Comics Producers. The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship, 6(1), 3. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/cg.74

Little by little we might see more qualitative research datasets openly available. It’s not just quantitative datasets that have reuse potential. Many thanks to for the helpful feedback and for encouraging multidisciplinary open research data description, archiving and preservation!