As part of my PhD I have done a questionnaire and am now obtaining the data etc. Now I am starting to write the methodology etc I would like to ask if anyone knows of any good books/papers in this regards.
In particular I am interested in ways to 'justify' my way of giving out the questionnaires, namely online through mailing lists and social networking. I know this has a number of drawbacks (I should have perhaps looked at before, but I am a scientist and when I asked the lecturer from the business faculty who has worked in developing questionnaires etc on how to give it out, he said, Facebook and mailing lists, so I assumed that there are other examples on when they used such an approach). But now I am not managing to find any articles etc which are using this method to justify my choice. Is anyone aware of such circumstances where social networking has been used to give out questionnaires?
the way I have approached this is to look at others who have used this method of research. there are a few, but I haven't that file to hand at the moment, there is one I remember on drugs or use of drugs, and another that used a site to look at the group's take on feeding babies, if you put in a search for internet studies I am sure there must be more by now. There is a book, internet communication and qualitative research by Mann and Stewart which may help you. I am using this method, but in a rather different setting because it is a group I belong to, and have been a member of for a long time. I used a questionnaire, but am analysing other things too. Also it is not a 'chat room' it is probably best described as an online conference setting - it allows those who cannot get to the (now non-existent) - meetings that are necessary to keep people up to date, and to help solve problems that arise due to the nature of the work. The site is closed so only bona fide members can answer - there is no way others can get in to look at the data or add comments - or pretend to be a member. you need to think about the nature of the people who are members, and if they are representative of all people who come into the category you are looking at, why they may differ and whether or not this is a problem, why you used the method - time, geographicailly useful, hard to reach group etc.,is there an opportunity to question any further, do you want/need to do this and so on. there is a lot to say, and quite a bit to justify.
I thnk it all depends on what your asking them about. If it may have skewed your data (e.g. if you ask about online shopping and only distribute the questionnaire online), then you at least need to acknowledge that.
Try looking for papers on response rates - there are quite a lot on snowballing samples, and how to maximise participation rates and the effects of online samples.
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