Our Managing Director, Dr Helen Kara, is an experienced writer, and is passionate about clear communication through language. Her research skills complement her writing skills. This page lists her traditionally published books, academic journal articles, and book chapters. She also publishes a series of short affordable e-books for PhD students, and has co-written an e-book with Dr Nathan Ryder: Self-Publishing for Academics.
Traditionally published books
- Creative Research Methods for the Social Sciences: A Practical Guide. Policy Press, 2015 (click for details)
- Research and Evaluation for Busy Practitioners: A Time-Saving Guide. Policy Press, 2012 (click for details) NB: second edition out in April 2017, fully revised
Both of these books are distributed in the US and Canada by the University of Chicago Press.
Academic Journal Articles
- Pickering L and Kara H. Presenting and representing others: towards an ethics of engagement. International Journal of Social Research Methodology (in press).
- Kara H. Identity and power in co-produced activist research. Qualitative Research (in press).
- Vigurs K and Kara H. Participants' productive disruption of a community photo-elicitation project: improvised methodologies in practice. International Journal of Social Research Methodology DOI 10.1080/13645579.2016.1221259
- Kara H. The value of carers in mental health research. Journal of Public Mental Health
- Kara H. The Story of G:Up, a regional third sector network. Third Sector Research Centre working paper 138
- Kara H and Arvidson M. To what extent can evaluation frameworks help NGOs to address health inequalities caused by social exclusion? Perspectives in Public Health.
- Kara H. Mental health service user involvement in research: where have we come from, where are we going? Journal of Public Mental Health.
- Kara H. It's hard to tell how research feels: using fiction to enhance academic research and writing. Qualitative Research in Organisations and Management
- Kara H. Democratising research in practice. In Iphofen R and Tolich M (eds) Sage Handbook of Ethics in Qualitative Research. London: Sage (forthcoming).
- Kara H. Facilitating procedural ethics: establishing the research ethics application database at Oxford University. In Tolich M. (ed) Qualitative Ethics in Practice, pp 183-192. Left Coast Press (click for details)
- Rees J and Mullins D (eds) The third sector delivering public services: developments, innovations and challenges. Policy Press.
Dr Helen Kara is a member of the Society of Authors.
Chameleons In A Kaleidoscope: How It Feels To Work In Partnership As A Sure Start Manager (click to download, 1.3Mb PDF)
This is Dr Helen Kara's PhD thesis, published in 2006. It offers a sharp critique of some of the destructive aspects of New Labour's modernisation agenda, and an illuminating exploration of the emotional demands of managing development work with children and families in areas of deprivation. It contains information about a new method of data collection using storytelling, and demonstrates the enormous potential of this method to produce rich data about sensitive subjects. It also outlines an innovative method of data analysis using multiple coding frames, and gives a reflexive account of the PhD process written in a creative fictionalised style. The relationships between fact and fiction, truth and authenticity, and issues of partnership, identity, emotion and language, are explored in detail.