Name three ways in which data can be collected by researchers
Depending on the researcher's research plan and design, there are several ways data can be collected. The most commonly used methods are: published literature sources, surveys (email and mail), interviews (telephone, face-to-face or focus group), observations, documents and records, and experiments
Information gathering can be from a variety of sources. Importantly to say, there are no best method of data collection. In principle, how data are being collected depends on the researcher’s nature of research or the phenomena being studied.
Data collection is a crucial aspect in any level of research work. If data are inaccurately collected, it will surely impact the findings of the study, thereby leading to false or invaluable outcome.
What is data collection?
Data collection is a systematic method of collecting and measuring data gathered from different sources of information in order to provide answers to relevant questions. An accurate evaluation of collected data can help researchers predict future phenomenon and trends.
Data collection can be classified into two, namely: primary and secondary data. Primary data are raw data i.e. fresh and are collected for the first time. Secondary data, on the other hand, are data that were previously collected and tested.
Methods of data collection
The system of data collection is based on the type of study being conducted. Depending on the researcher’s research plan and design, there are several ways data can be collected.
The most commonly used methods are published literature sources, surveys (email and mail), interviews (telephone, face-to-face or focus group), observations, documents and records, and experiments. The choice of method is influenced by the data collection strategy, the type of variable, the accuracy required, the collection point and the skill of the enumerator. Links between a variable, its source and practical methods for its collection (Table 6.1, Table 6.2 and Table 6.3) can help in choosing appropriate methods.
The main data collection methods are:
Registration: registers and licences are particularly valuable for complete enumeration, but are limited to variables that change slowly, such as numbers of fishing vessels and their characteristics.
Questionnaires: forms which are completed and returned by respondents. An inexpensive method that is useful where literacy rates are high and respondents are co-operative.
Interviews: forms which are completed through an interview with the respondent. More expensive than questionnaires, but they are better for more complex questions, low literacy or less co-operation.
Direct observations: making direct measurements is the most accurate method for many variables, such as catch, but is often expensive. Many methods, such as observer programmes, are limited to industrial fisheries.
Reporting: the main alternative to making direct measurements is to require fishers and others to report their activities. Reporting requires literacy and co-operation but can be backed up by a legal requirement and direct measurements.
The ways used by researchers to collect the primary data include Interviews, Questionnaire, Focus Groups, and Observations.
1 Case Studies. Encyclopedia: ...
2 Usage Data. Suma: ...
3) Checklists. ...
5 Interviews. ...
6 Focus Groups. ...
7 Surveys. ...
8 Documents and Records.