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Information for Participants

For a discussion or explanation of any part of this information, please contact Christopher at

Ethical clearance:

The ethical aspects of this research have been approved by the ANU Human Research Ethics Committee (Protocol 2023/1149). If you have any concerns or complaints about how this research has been conducted, please contact: Ethics Manager, ANU Human Research Ethics Committee


Christopher Marcatili is the primary investigator (PI) conducting this research in completion of his PhD at the Australian National University (ANU) School of Archaeology and Anthropology. He is also a professional copy editor and a creative writer.

Project Title:

Worldbuilding in Iceland: Creative Writing Processes and Social Change

Project Outline:

This project seeks to understand how creative processes and practices are used to respond to social changes within communities. Participant observation, the practice of participating in the study group’s everyday activities, is the primary research methodology. The PI will work alongside other writers in key writers’ spaces and discuss their writing habits. Interviews with key participants and collaborative creative projects will also be used.


Participants will be at least 50 Icelanders over 18 who identify as creative writers at any stage in their career and have a regular creative practice. Other participants may include creative industry professionals, audience and supporters, and other Icelandic creatives. Participation can be through informal conversations, semi-structured interviews and collaborative creative projects. Creative spaces will also be photographed (with permission).

Use of data and feedback:

Participants of formal interviews or collaborative projects can revise or clarify data. A list of pre-set questions will guide formal interviews. Data will be collected, analysed and presented in a thesis, reported at conferences, and published in academic journals. The thesis may be developed into a book. Collaborative creative projects co-developed with participants will also be a data source. Reflections on collaboration and fieldwork will be published online, and participants can provide feedback on the research with the PI or using an online feedback form.

Project funding:

Funds come from the Australian government via a Graduate Research Scholarship, and fieldwork funds from the ANU’s School of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Participant involvement:

Your involvement can be as much/little as you like. The PI will work on their writing projects alongside you and may engage you in informal discussions about writing processes/practices, which you can opt into or out of at any time. During interviews, questions will be asked in a setting and time of your convenience. Participants of collaborative creative projects can co-design them and choose the form their involvement takes.

What does participation entail?:

Participation includes discussing the processes/practices relevant to your creative writing during participant observation or interviews. ‘Participant observation’ means the PI will observe at all times (not only during interviews) things that occur and are said. Two types of observations are recorded: specific and general. Specific: Where consent is provided, notes will record things said (specific quotes), your activities relevant to writing practice/processes, everyday life observations, and the use of space. General: Where consent has not been provided, observations will be general in nature, e.g. comments on general use of space rather than specific activities. You may choose to consent to participating only in participant observation or interviews, and need not consent to both. The PI may also take photos of creative workspaces (with permission). Participation includes providing information regarding your creative writing processes and practices, with discussion topics including where you find inspiration, what your writing practices are, how you engage with audiences, and role your work plays in social and cultural discussions. You are not expected to share personal/sensitive information, or the content of your writing.

Voluntary participation and withdrawal:

Participation is voluntary. You may, without negative consequences or explanation, choose not to participate and can withdraw at any time until the research is prepared for publication (around 1.5 years after fieldwork ends). You may refuse to answer questions, remove yourself from any discussion, or request any discussion not to be included in research materials. Where group discussions occur, it may not be possible to remove your contributions from notes.

If you don’t provide consent?:

Without consent, the PI will not engage you in direct discussion during participant observation, in interviews, or take photos of workspaces for the purposes of research. They may make observations about work spaces without consent from each individual, but these observations are general in nature and do not quote or remark on non-consenting individuals.

Recording methods:

Participant observation will be recorded through notes written by the PI, and these may quote or paraphrase things you do or say. Formal interviews will be audio recorded with your written consent. After recording, interviews will be transcribed and both audio file and transcription will be sent to you via email link to a shared folder within one month of completing the interview. You will have one month to review transcription to make amendments. Non-response be taken as consent to use the interviews without amendment. Recordings may be paused or stopped you chose, e.g., at the discussion of sensitive matters. Participants who engage in creative collaborative projects will have their participation fully acknowledged, and/or have a share of the creative rights (if any exist) equivalent to their participation in the collaborative project. Photos will be taken of creative spaces (with permission).

Location and duration:

January 2024–January 2025. Primary research locations include: writers’ centres and co-working spaces, public spaces like libraries, festivals, events, workshops, classes, private residences (by invitation), and online. Participants may opt to engage in research activities in locations of their choosing and convenience. Interviews may take up to two hours, and informal discussions may take as much/little time as you choose. Total time expected of most participants may be from 2–4 hours.



Avoid discussing matters that are confidential, defamatory, or which may harm you or others. Participants are free to discuss perceived risks arising during the research project with the PI, and strategies for mitigating them will be discussed and implemented. Risks may include:

  • Emotional: The research is not designed to address sensitive matters, but given the personal nature of creative expression some participants may experience anxiety or discomfort. If this occurs, the PI will pause or cease discussion on request or visible signs of discomfort. For more acute concerns, the 24-hour helpline for individuals experiencing anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts, Hjálparsími Rauða Krossins, is available at 1717.

  • Legal/intellectual property: There is no expectation that participants share details of their creative projects unless they choose to do so. Discussions focus on creative processes and practices rather than specific projects. Those involved in collaborative creative projects will be invited to discuss any matters of intellectual property, and if requested a formal agreement may be entered into.

  • Third-party identification: All effort at confidentiality will be maintained and pseudonyms will be used unless participants request otherwise. The size of Iceland’s writing community makes identification by others possible. If desired, the PI will discuss concerns and develop strategies with you to address unintended third-party identification, e.g., by excluding certain details from research.



The primary benefits of this research go to the PIC and research community interested in Iceland and creative writing. The PI will share findings with participants so they can learn about the ways creative practices/processes in Iceland take shape. Participants may also have the opportunity to learn and build connections with a community of writers involved in the project, and these networks and peer learning can be an essential way for writers to develop their craft and profession. The intellectual property of any collaborative creative projects will be shared among participants involved.



All efforts will be made to maintain and protect confidentiality to the extent possible under law. Research will refer to participants through the use of pseudonyms. As a professional writer, you may wish for your involvement to be publicly known; if so, please indicate as such on the consent form provided. Only share information you would be comfortable being known publicly and refrain from sharing information you deem private, sensitive, or which may be legally compromising. The PI is legally required to share some types of information with relevant authorities, such as information relating to the harm of others. External service providers, such as transcribers, editors or translators, may have access to part or all recorded data to provide their services.

Privacy Notice:

In collecting your personal information within this research, ANU must comply with the Privacy Act 1988. The ANU Privacy Policy is available at It contains information about how a person can access or seek correction to their personal information, or complain about a breach of an Australian Privacy Principle by ANU, and how ANU will handle the complaint.

Data storage:

Data will be gathered and handled only by the PI and stored electronically on servers based in Toronto, Canada using a personal, secure and encrypted cloud storage service ( This service is compliant with the EU’s GDPI requirements, and SOC and PIPEDA requirements. Only the PI will have access to all data, though third parties (e.g., translators) could access some data for the provision of services. Data may also be stored temporarily on a password-protected private hard-drive during fieldwork as backup/offline access. Data must be stored for at least five years from time of publication, and it is expected the data will be used for future research projects, e.g., writing articles and book chapters. Where the five-year period has passed and no future research projects are expected, the data will be de-identified and retained for potential future use by the PI. If physical records are produced, these will be copied electronically and destroyed to avoid duplication. Audio recordings of interviews will also be destroyed, though transcriptions will be kept.


Data access:

You may review data about you if requested, e.g. copies of fieldnote passages, images. This may not always be possible, e.g., notes from group activities when protecting the privacy of other participants. You will be provided transcripts and audio recordings of interviews for review, and this will be sent within two weeks of the interview as a link via email to a document and audio file. General reflections and findings will also be published as a blog accessible from, and this will also list all relevant publications and outputs from the project.


Queries and Concerns:

Please raise questions with the PI during the project at or +61410802391. Information on the project is available at The PI’s supervisor is Dr Caroline Schuster, and any concerns can also be raised with her at After the completion of the project, enquiries may be sent to Dr Kristín Loftsdóttir at the University of Iceland, at or 5254261 for any queries. If participation has caused concern, the 24-hour helpline for anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts, Hjálparsími Rauða Krossins, is available on 1717.

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