Journal Articles

This article reviews the literature and research about a specific problem – health issues for homeless and street youth in Canada. It also discusses the relevance of this problem and implications for health and youth policies. It may provide reasons and the need for further research in these topics in other areas beyond Canada. It can be read as a starting point for developing research in this field.

Kelly, K., and Caputo, T. (2007) ‘Health and Street/ Homeless Youth,’ Journal of Health Psychology, 12(5), 726–736.

Critical Thinking Questions:

  • Does this article provide enough information for defining your research interest and maybe research questions in this field?
  • Are the discussions transferable – from Canada to other regions of the world and from the time the literature was analyzed to today’s situation?


In this article, the authors link epistemological and ethical issues in planning their research and in reflecting the contact with their participants when using a number of qualitative methods. It also illustrates the consequences of starting from a specific worldview (feminist standpoint theory) and taking epistemic and ethical responsibility into account. It also gives a first idea of what it means to work with vulnerable groups (Thai migrants in Sweden) and takes a practice-oriented approach (from social work).

Sörensson, E., and Kalman, H. (2018) ‘Care and concern in the research process: meeting ethical and epistemological challenges through multiple engagements and dialogue with research subjects,’ Qualitative Research, 18(6), 706–721.

Critical Thinking Questions:

  • How far does the epistemological background and concern lead to more openness in the research or to narrowing the perspective?
  • Did the authors mention and discuss limitations of their study?
  • What would you draw as consequences for your own research?


In this article, a basic principle of (current) research ethics is questioned. The author argues for doing covert research, which means that the participants are not informed about being part of research. Informed consent is not seen as necessary for this kind of ethnography. With this specific case, you can better understand what it means to do research with and without this consent and the difficulties that arise if you want to apply the principle but it does not really work in practice.

Calvey, D. (2019) ‘The everyday world of bouncers: a rehabilitated role for covert ethnography,’ Qualitative Research, 19(3), 247–262.

Critical Thinking Questions:

  • Is the author’s argumentation for doing undercover ethnography acceptable and coherent?
  • What do you see as problematic in this suggestion of ignoring the ethical principles of information and consent for this example and for your research?

In this article, the role and development of research questions are discussed on the basis of empirical knowledge about a target group (school nurses intending to do research). Sources of research questions are discussed as well as tips and recommendations given about how to formulate a research question. The process of formulating and refining research questions is outlined for examples of good and not so good questions. A summary and a description of workshops in which research questions are developed at the end of the article.

O’Brien, M. J., and DeSisto, M. C. (2013) ‘Every Study Begins With a Query: How to Present a Clear Research Question,’ NASN School Nurse, 28(2), 83–85.

Critical Thinking Questions:

  • Does this description cover the issues around research questions?
  • Is the outline of developing and refining research questions transferable to other areas and in particular to your area of research?
  • How far is this process reduced to a technical problem to solve in learning and practice?