Managing the challenges of interviewing through reflective journals: A novice researcher’s journey


  • Jinah Lee The University of Waikato, Hamilton


In-depth interviews, Reflective journals, Novice researchers


In-depth interviews are widely used in qualitative research but they can be challenging for any researcher, particularly for a novice. Although many researchers describe their research journeys, few discuss the use of reflective journals as a technique for managing dilemmas and challenges while interviewing. The research was conducted through a narrative inquiry approach which investigated the experiences of six Asian migrant mothers about their identity negotiation within the New Zealand context. As a part of data generation for a PhD thesis, the researcher participated in generating data through reflective memos – one of the elements was personal reflective journals after the interviews. The findings from 40 written entries identified three themes. One was emotion such as frustration, embarrassment, and joy. Another was on-going questioning such as data generation process. The third was decision making statements in relation to the emerging questions. Those themes were tightly connected to manifest a trajectory of becoming an incisive researcher. Such outcomes contribute to the understanding of how reflective journals can be a useful technique to understand and manage challenging issues pertaining to in-depth interviews in data generation.



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How to Cite

Lee, J. (2014). Managing the challenges of interviewing through reflective journals: A novice researcher’s journey. Asian Journal of Education and E-Learning, 2(4). Retrieved from