Explore BrainMass

Research Data Collection

1.What ethical issues could be encountered when collecting research data?

2 What issues could be present when collecting data in foreign countries?

3 How has the Internet and technology changed data collection opportunities?

4.What are the advantages and of primary disadvantages and secondary data?

Solution Preview


Interesting questions! Let's take a closer. I also attached an informative article comparing telephone and Internet data collection methods.


1.What ethical issues could be encountered when collecting research data?

Ethical issues include confidentiality, privacy, informed consent, risk of harm to the participants, researcher biases, unequal power between researcher and those being researched, cultural sensitivity, to name a few. This is why all data collection involving information not in the public domain and humans must receive ethics approval. A research proposal application will be reviewed to assess certain ethical issues, such as:

a. Whether the data collection poses more than minimal risk e.g., will the research harm the participant in any way? Are you using deception? If so, you will need a good reason for this e.g., cannot get the valuable information in any other way (see other examples below).
b. Participation needs to be voluntary, and the participant needs to sign a consent form, which includes information about the study, the voluntary nature of participation, the right to drop out at any time, the risk factors (if any), and perhaps counseling offered if the participants has any ill effects due to the study.
c. The recruitment process and consent forms need to comply with the appropriate professional codes of ethics.

Examples of ethical issues that are considered more than minimal risk:

Interviewing employees about being sexually harassed by colleagues at work where negative emotions or reactions may occur (e.g, the consent form informs the participants of the sensitive nature, and that if emotional issues or trauma do occur, it is usually written into the consent form that professional will be offered to the participants to deal with the issues directly related to the study).

The following list highlights some of the factors that raise the level of risk for research participants.

· Information about the methodology or research design is concealed during the consent process,
· The research involves some form of deception,
· Information about participants is obtained from a third party,
· The researcher, or a research assistant, is in a position of power vis-à-vis the participants (e.g., an instructor or professor),
· There is potential for participants to perceive coercion to participate in the research (e.g., the business professor will ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses various aspects of collecting research data e.g. ethics issues, issues when collecting data in foreign countries, how the Internet and technology has changed data collection opportunities and the advantages and disadvantages of primary and secondary data. Supplemented with an interesting article on moving tracking research from telephone to Internet data collection methods.