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Data Collection
Key Debates and Methods in Social Research



November 2011 | 248 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
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This innovative book provides students and researchers alike with an indispensible introduction to the key theoretical issues and practical methods needed for data collection.

It uses clear definitions, relevant interdisciplinary examples from around the world and up-to-date suggestions for further reading to demonstrate how to usefully gather and use qualitative, quantitative, and mixed data sets.

The book is divided into seven critical parts:

• Data Collection: An Introduction to Research Practices

• Collecting Qualitative Data

• Observation and Informed Methods

• Experimental and Systematic Data Collection

• Survey Methods for Data Collection

• The Case Study Method of Data Collection

• Concluding Suggestions for Data Collection Groups

A stimulating, practical guide which can be read as individual concepts or as a whole this will be an important resource for students and research professionals.

Wendy Olsen is Senior Lecturer at Manchester University, Institute for Development Policy & Management and Cathie Marsh Centre for Census & Survey Research

 
PART ONE: DATA COLLECTION: AN INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH PRACTICES
 
Research and Data Collection
 
Findings
 
Data
 
Causes
 
Sampling
Further Reading for Part One  
 
PART TWO: COLLECTING QUALITATIVE DATA
 
Interviews
 
Transcripts
 
Coding
 
Meaning
 
Interpretation
 
Observer Bias
 
Representations
 
Focus Groups
 
Document Analysis
 
Accuracy
 
Ethical Clearance
Further Reading for Part Two  
 
PART THREE: OBSERVATION AND INVOLVED METHODS
 
Participation
 
Praxis
 
Action Research
 
Observation Methods
 
Online Data Collection
Further Reading for Part Three  
 
PART FOUR: EXPERIMENTAL AND SYSTEMATIC DATA COLLECTION
 
Questionnaire Design
 
Handling Treatment Data
 
The Ethics of Volunteers
 
Market-Research Techniques
 
Creating Systematic Case Study Data
Further Reading for Part Four  
 
PART FIVE: SURVEY METHODS FOR DATA COLLECTION
 
Operationalisation
 
Measurement
 
Causality
 
Data Cleaning
 
Data Extraction
 
Outliers
 
Subsetting of Data
 
Survey Weights
Further Reading for Part Five  
 
PART SIX: THE CASE STUDY METHOD OF DATA COLLECTION
 
Case Study Research
 
Comparative Research
 
Configurations
 
Contingency
 
Causal Mechanisms
Further Reading for Part Six  
 
PART SEVEN: CONCLUDING SUGGESTIONS ABOUT DATA COLLECTION CONCEPTS
 
Facts
 
Reality
 
Retroduction
 
Further Reading for Part Seven

'Good data collection is the foundation on which good research is built, but most texts in social research methods focus more on data analysis than the many issues involved in obtaining the data to analyze. Wendy Olsen's lively and wide-ranging work does much to fill the gap' -
W. Paul Vogt
, Professor of Research Methods and Evaluation, Illinois State University


'Written with freshness and energy, with copious examples drawn from research in the UK, USA, India and South Africa, this lively guide to data collection includes excellent sections often under-played by methods textbooks, such as the comparative method; data cleaning; survey weights; and secondary analysis. The seriousness and mission of the dedicated researcher shines through its approachable narrative, providing an outstanding example of what a balanced mixed methods perspective has to offer'
Geoff Payne
Professor of Sociology, Newcastle University, UK



Still under review

Dr Mark Malisa
School Of Education, College of St Rose
August 22, 2013

Too qualitative, not enough connected to main stream data collection methods. In my humble opinion :-)

Mr Henk Van Der Kolk
Political Science & Research Methods, Twente University
July 12, 2013

For data collection this book provides good practical methods with relevant examples.

Mr Gilbert Regan
mathematics and computing, Dundalk Institute of Technology
June 25, 2013

Considered as very useful

Mr Fatawu Bakare
Wolverhampton Business School, Wolverhampton University
March 12, 2013

This is a suitable book as an introduction to data collection for masters students and high level undergraduates. It is a little basic for PhD students but gives a clear overview of all the key topics for consideration when completing data collection.

Mr Chris Doran
Salford Business School, Salford University
March 12, 2013

i liked Olsen's text a great deal and will be placing it on my recommended reading list for the students. I have referred to it in my lesson plans

Mr Joe Brown
Health, Nursing & Midwifery (Hamilton), University of the West of Scotland
February 13, 2013

i incorporated this book into my reading list as wendy olsen is a leading figure in the field. the book is a nice introduction to a set of issues pertaining to qualitative data collection

Dr Elisa Van waeyenberge
economics, School of Oriental and African Studies
December 19, 2012

A clear, accessible and interesting text for undergraduate students. This text has become recomended reading for all our level 5 students as they reflect upon and consider both research design and implementation whilst preparing their dissertation proposals.

Dr Paul Barratt
Geography, Staffordshire University
June 12, 2012

This sets out the key aspects of data collection. The text presents the options for research students in a sufficiently non-technical manner to provide an overview for students.

Dr David Lawlor
Child and Family, Tavistock Centre
January 17, 2012

Sample Materials & Chapters

Part One


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