Dr Henri Pesonen from the University of Helsinki reflects on what it is like to conduct research to a given schedule and also publishing work as soon as the data is gathered and analysed.
The entire IMAGE team has been enthusiastic about writing academic peer-reviewed papers ever since the beginning of the project in October 2018. In early 2019 we conducted interviews in the 5 partners countries, involving autistic students, their careers advisors, academics, senior managers in HE and employers.
Once we had completed the data collection in May 2019, I began to analyse the material together with Minja Lahdelma, also from the University of Helsinki. Further analysis took place during the second partner meeting in Helsinki in June 2019.
In October, I travelled to Amsterdam to draft articles with Dr. Mitzi Waltz and Dr. Elena Syurina from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. This visit was very successful and led to ongoing writing of papers, and further analysing and discussing the data on Skype with the other partners. The thorough analysis of the material has also helped to plan productive and engaging co-creation workshops.
The visit to Amsterdam truly started a fruitful collaboration on writing and publishing papers. Currently, there are several research articles either under review or in progress. We have had some rejections too – that is part of it and it helped us to reflect on the manuscript and improve it.
The project’s first academic paper about autistic students and graduate employment support whilst at university was published in May 2020 in the European Journal of Special Needs Education. The published article can be found online by clicking the following link https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/JXS4HH7V4WEPQ79HVZDZ/full?target=10.1080/08856257.2020.1769982
Please stay tuned for more published papers!