Techniques for obtaining qualitative data in written online inquiries

Daniela Schiek, Carsten G. Ullrich

Resumo


In this paper we discuss the possible benefits of written asynchronous online inquiries for qualitative social research and digital inquiry techniques. Although qualitative interviews and group discussions have been conducted online since the mid-1990s, we know very little about their methodological benefits, their concrete execution techniques of digital questioning, active listening and relationship building. We show the methodological potential of written research exchanges which enable the articulation (and thus the empirical reconstruction) of statements which are not yet socially ratified. Furthermore, we discuss the importance of face-to-face contact before the actual inquiry, which can increase the mutual commitment between researchers and respondents. Finally, we argue that signals of permanent ‘listening’ and recognition of the respondents’ expressions are constitutive in obtaining qualitative data, which means a personal and trustful communication style and a high frequency of contact with probably a non-directive questioning technique.

Palavras-chave


online methods; qualitative methods; data quality; online interviewing; online group discussion

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Referências


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