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ERIC Number: ED409860
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Pages: 6
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Conducting Research on the Internet: Strategies for Electronic Interviewing.
Persichitte, Kay A.; And Others
This study provides guidelines for using electronic mail for data collection and sheds light on some of the substantive issues related to research via this medium. Researchers creating electronic interview situations for the study stressed that the atmosphere should be informal and conversational. Interviewees were encouraged to use typical expressions of emotion--"emotext" or "emoticons"--and to use other innovative ways of expressing their feelings or emphases. The topic addressed was how the respondents used technology. Results indicated that many of the difficulties inherent in face-to-face interviews were overcome in the electronic medium. The researchers were unable to interrupt the interviewees or to give nonverbal evaluative responses. Both the researchers and the interviewees were able to take the time to be thoughtful and careful in their responses to each other, increasing the depth of understanding for both parties. Neither the researchers nor the interviewees had to schedule appointments or be concerned with the effects of interruptions. Although some caution remains regarding the validity of responses collected in this way, general advantages of interviewing using electronic mail rather than traditional face-to-face interviews include: reduced time and cost; convenience; unimportance of geographic location and the possibility for more sampling diversity; the potential for large amount of data to be accumulated quickly; the allowance for more thorough and thoughtful follow-up and clarification; single-step, non-interfering recording and transcription; no danger or discomfort for the researcher; and the ability to continue the interview process until the researcher is satisfied that a saturation point has been reached. A list of guidelines are included for researchers who are considering conducting research via electronic mail using interviews. A copy of the letter that was sent to participants is included. (Contains 10 references.) (AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A