Signup date: 30 May 2007 at 9:12pm
Last login: 05 Nov 2008 at 12:55am
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Over in the U.S. - or at least in my research institution where I work - all that and more is expected after graduation when you become a researcher and the duties get more complex as you go along; publishing X amount of papers in higher tiered journals, presenting at International conferences, being member of so many committees and review boards. My mentor outlined all her requirements, and I don't know how she has a spare moment to breathe let alone continue to keep herself (and me) funded...
The focus group concept has really backfired on me and I'm going to approach my advisor today with changing my design. It was my idea in the first place, seemed ideal, but I have 4 groups to do in 3 areas of town, they have conflicting schedules (with each other and me) and now with gas prices so high no one wants to drive to the other's area and being self-funded I can't reimburse. I feel like I've lost a few months trying to get this part to work; my design is written for focus group, then interviews. Focus groups were to initially inform the interview guide. I have 12 people on the interview list and I'm afraid of them losing interest. Any suggestions on justification on dropping focus groups? Anyone well-versed enough in quialitative methods as to pros/cons of using only one qual method instead of two? I have used the interview guide now with 2 focus groups and 7 key informant interviews in all 4 groups of subjects, so I'm pretty comfortable with it. Any suggestions much appreciated!!
okay - quick poll - first focus group tomorrow evening, I had a great response, only today two people (out of 4) cancelled because of being quite ill - so shall I continue with only 2, seeing as its a bit late to cancel/postpone, or postpone for another time? By the way, for background -time is of the essance with getting this moving, this particular group was to act as a pilot to see how the question guide worked out, and is holding up the other focus groups and interviews I have planned.
I just downloaded Express Scribe per bakuvia's advice, and it it what I'm looking for, and a good price after the initial trial, certainly cheaper than a new recorder or the other software I looked at - is Audicity much different? I'm also saving Atlas.ti for the end so I can use the trial and then perhaps the student version. I have 48 interviews and 4 focus groups ahead, but I keep telling myself I;m really getting to know the data, no better way.
Bakuvia do you know if this software works with wav format? Windows Media Player will also slow down, but only in MP3 format, and my recorder transfers to wav, so I was thinking about another recorder or software. There is a Panasonic recorder which has software included to transcribe to text, but I don't know the accuracy, may be more trouble than its worth. I agree about the story, I had been advised by some just to take notes and not record, but that misses so much of the richness and nuance of the story, the details that emerge. Also, nothing better than honing interview skills than listening to yourself over and over! I'm planning on using Atlas.ti, eventually. Thanks again
Thanks for all the replies!
Rick, I too have found about 4+ hours of transcription time per hour of interview, quite grating. Joyce, I asked my IRB about the confidentiality issues in case I can get the funds to hire someone to transcribe,now I have it in my informed consent that a transcriptionist may be included as part of the research team, but they have to take human subjects protections training.
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For those of you doing qualitative research, are you doing your own transcribing? I have been of key informant interviews so far, its quite time consuming, and I tried downloading the files to the computer to transcribe from there instead of from the digital recorder, but I can't adjust the speed that way because it is a wave file format. I was thinking of some software like HyperTRANSCRIBE, anyone ever try it? I didn't want voice recognition, too many issues. Thanks in advance.
Hi Rick - I have just started key informant interviews, and starting recruitment for the focus groups. I'm not anticipating too many problems, this is from a close-knit community and for a health issue, so I think I'll be fine, my main stumbling block has been every small change I make requiring a modification request through the IRB. And transcribing, what a huge amount of time that is taking, hopefully I can afford someone to do it for me for the bulk of the interviews. Are you using a co-moderator?
I'm in medical anthro - and in an applied program at that, they don't recommend us to stay in academics - and have worked at a cancer center for the last 15 years - and the there would seem to be an enormous place for your field in research with the direction (and *business*) of medicine and genetics - there is a huge need for ethical translation of science to pracice and policy; there's a great article by Holt, Holmes, Stonington and Eisenberg (2006) "Health is Still Social: Contemporary examples in the age of the Genome." PLOS 3(10).
I admire you all as my classes in evolutionary genetics left me piqued but bewildered. But you could possibly use research toward policy change. Good luck.
I am also using focus groups, although the participants are not coming all from a professional field - especially one where they are so time limited and (at least in the U.S.) often used to being provided incentives likes really nice dinners and the such for attendence. But CME's are a huge incentive - I would think that would really encourage them. Also, perhaps overbooking for the groups, so that if they all show up, the ones not needed could either join in anyway or be sent away with a thank you gift certificate somewhere? All depends on funding, of course. Good luck!
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