This past weekend, I received a tweet (on Twitter) to participate in a study that is similar to mine. The researcher is also a PhD candidate, but she is from a university that I just learned about from a job position announcement last week. Although the job announcement is mostly irrelevant, I am very interested in this candidate's study. I am not too worried about our study being too similar because our participant populations have a very low chance of overlapping.
I agreed to take participate in her survey and found that we asked roughly the same demographic questions, but the other research questions differed a little. Although I am using survey software, my research is more like an interview. However, at the end of taking her survey, I was asked if I would like to participate in an online interview via Skype. I agreed and was a bit jealous that her IRB allows her to use an easier method of data collection, although there is a greater risk of losing confidentiality through Skype.
Our studies are also similar in that I assume that we would both qualify as participants in our own studies, meaning I could in mine and she in hers. However, I am not sure if she would qualify for mine. We are also similar, I believe, in that I assume that she has worked in the same English Language Fellowship I have.
I wonder about the ethical and other implications of interviewing a participant like me who may know the research theories and frameworks quite well. How would this benefit or contaminate her data collection? It is her choice to make as I felt it was my ethical duty to let her know I was conducting research on a similar inquiry. Perhaps this is someone I can collaborate with once our dissertations are defended and our PhDs earned. It would be interesting to compare and contrast our studies once completed.