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Our Methods book published

by on December 1, 2020

Katrina and Rebecca are delighted to announce the publication of their methods book: ‘Collecting Qualitative Data using Digital Methods‘. The book is published by Sage, part of the Mastering Business Research Methods series and is available in both print and digital versions.

The book represents in many ways the methodological journey of the ‘Age at Work’ research project. Our aim has been to provide an accessible guide to using specific methods, ones that use and study web-based activities and settings, of qualitative data collection. It’s pitched at Master students and also at those who supervise Masters projects and may be less familiar with digital methods than other forms of qualitative data collection.

In the book we introduce and explain two related approaches that we term ‘tracking’ and trawling’, we address the underlying philosophical assumptions that inform the use of these methods, discuss key components in their use and the challenges that might be encountered over the course of a project. We have included some examples of published studies (beyond our own work) that have used these methods (other authors will not have labelled them specifically as tracking and trawling!). We also assess the strengths and limitations of these methods. The focus of the book is on data collection though we do include some tips on preparing for data analysis. We have also prepared some supplementary material (thoughts on data analysis) which we are very happy to share via the link below.

We have thoroughly enjoyed writing the book and we very much hope it provides a useful resource for all who want to learn more about digital methods of qualitative data collection. We coudn’t possibly have predicted just how timely this topic was going to be, with the COVID pandemic forcing so much research away from in-person methods of data collection and towards virtual versions and digital means.

Our grateful thanks to our many excellent colleagues, collaborators and doctoral students who inspired and supported our methodological journey.

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