Tips on Data Collection During Quarantine

People all around the world are experiencing the life in quarantine and it can change the course of events greatly for them. The lock-down has closed the lab doors suddenly and we don’t know when they will be opened again. This has prevented many researchers from accomplishing their research projects. However, it is a good time for you to check your research project, make a checklist of the requirements for your paper and get the E-books that you need. We have moved online and we should adapt to this new way of life.  Here we are going to tell you how you can deal with the problem of data gathering during quarantine.

Adjust your method of data collection

Re-design your data collection methodology. You may have initially intended to collect data through face to face interviews but since this option is no longer available under social distancing, I suggest some other options to you:

Analyze blogs

Instead of interviewing people, you can collect your data through the blogs. This will offer good insight in lots of different fields. People express their views through their blogs, but since it would be difficult to reach to a conclusion from various data sets, you should establish clear criteria for the blogs that you search through.

Open-ended surveys

You can create a questionnaire that can be used as an online survey through software like Survey Monkey. These can be a set of yes or no questions; you can allocate spaces for participants to give elaborate answers if they need to.

Text messaging

Your participants may not all have access to internet, but they all have mobile phones. You can create a series of SSD codes in which a question is asked and give several options for responses. The type of scoring questions is a good idea because your participants can easily rate their feelings from say, 1 to 5 (complete disagree to totally agree). Text message questions must be worded carefully because they pose limitations in the number of the characters you can use which then cause misinterpretation of your message.

Social media

In quarantine people spend more time in social media. You can target a large group of people via your posts and ask them to participate in your survey, but it is better to create fun and interesting posts. For example, you can ask people to respond with Emoji as an alternative for body language.

Study limitations

Corona virus has made changes to the condition in which you conduct your study. You should consider the stress variable and its effect on your database.  Stress can cause considerable changes in people’s worldview which in turn affects their responses to your questions.  

Final considerations

Ask your ethics committee whether the change in your research methodology affects the ethics of your study. The way you get permission from participants must be confirmed by them as well. Also remember not to put people under pressure to participate in your study or violate their privacy.

Your changed methodology of data gathering has made the anonymity possible and this can affect the responses that people give to your research questions. You should make sure that the participants meet the requirements of your research group.

Qualitative research is criticized for its dependence on the experience, because the experience is difficult to analyze. The number of your participants should be large enough to represent the study population. Remember you cannot generalize the results obtained from a small population to a larger one.

Good Luck

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