Welcome to “Making Research Count: Your Travel Guide to Researchistan”.
A few comments on the title. First, I chose the title “making research count” to point to two related ideas: the idea of countability and the idea of making an impact. Strange, isn’t it, that to make something “count” is to increase the value of something, as if quantity is tied to quality? And yet, in academic research — certainly in the interpreting field — this powerful assumption guides how we value research. I remember on several separate occasions, other interpreters telling me that Metger’s book “Deconstructing the Myth of Neutrality” had limited value because it was only based on a few observations. (I disagreed, of course. That argument misses the point of the book.) So I want research to be valued, but I hope that interpreters will not assume that quantitative research implies quality research. On the contrary, I believe that interpreting research could benefit the most from understanding the kinds of qualitative misunderstandings we make, and why those misunderstandings matter.
Second, and more simply, I want research to be valued. I see this as the responsibility of the entire professional interpreting community, which includes researchers, community interpreters (including CDIs), Deaf and hearing leaders, and ITP instructors.
Third, the subtitle, “Your Travel Guide to Researchistan”, was intended to give us a picture of research as a journey that required:
- packing our intellectual suitcase, i.e. take thinking seriously
- learning about how to get to a new place and meet the locals, i.e. how to obtain and read a basic research article
- getting home safely, i.e. not spending our whole lives in research-land.
In any case, the subtitle seems weird to me now. But there you have it. Nothing more to say about that.
So let’s get started.