Thursday, March 03, 2005

COLLECTING THE DATA .... Part 10

DATA COLLECTION:

Just remember this: no research is considered a research if it is NOT DOCUMENTED on paper.

No matter how much books, journals or research papers you have read, or the countless numbers of prominent respondents you have interviewed, if it is still stored in your head, how could convince your supervisor that you have done research. Nobody will ever believe you…….period.

You need to translate all the new knowledge gained during your research into writing, no matter how insignificant, or jumbled-up the grammar is or how topsy-turvy the sequence is, your supervisor still needs to see it on paper, because he is not a mind-reader…… or a clairvoyant. (Today, there is no more excuse, because no matter how busy your supervisor is; you can at any time e-mail him your research data, even at 3 o’clock in the morning.). If you continually make it a practice to submit to him one page of text a day, INSYAALLAH…. you’ld easyly end up with 120 pages of document at the end of the semester withouthout feeling the pinch.

The Data collection methods differs greatly from one type of research methodology to another, and for this it is vital that you familiarize yourself (read from the library), with the specific requirements , (and quote it all into your Methodology Chapter) so that the issue of validity and reliability of the data collected will not be in question later on. It will be a tremendous waste of valuable time if you jump straight to do your field work prior to truly checking that the data collection methodology is not suspected of being BIAS or UNRELIABLE. At the data collection stage, you MUST NOT be seen or be suspected of manipulating or influencing how the final outcome of the research finding will be. Report and analyze the finding as is, do not tamper with the data, because as a researcher it is unethical to do so. As a researcher, leave you personal value judgment aside till the final conclusion chapter; let the data itself reveal to you its true colour. If the final data happens to contradict with your hypothesis, so be it…. that’s the actual truth.

Few research undertakings will fit in exactly as prior planned; but most often the Murphy’s Law will prevail somehow. Report everything that happened during the data collection, including the problem encountered and how you overcome the obstacles…. all that happening is your true research activity that you must share (in writing) with the readers.

Reliability of data through interviews does not rely on hearsay information but comes from the genuine primary source and not from secondhand information. Authentication of manuscript reference in historical research must be verified, and not from photocopied version. When quoting from a person, you must validate the authority and the trustworthiness of the person who says it. All supporting evidence can be incorporated into the appendix section of your thesis for verification if needed.

Make it a habit to record when, what and how the data was collected, and not to procrastinate, because if not done immediately, it is definitely forgotten forever, and I can guarantee you that you will find that to be the most important facts needed to support your thesis writing later. I make it a habit to make sure that all these important data about the source is recorded first before I start copying the quotation from a book. As a researcher, have at all time your tape cassette recorder and your digital camera ever ready in your bag, you’ll definitely need it handy at the most unsuspected moment.

It is a fact that our memory is extremely short-span and you can hardly remember in exact detail the events that happened 4 days ago, let alone one semester from now when you start doing the thesis writing-up. Writing, writing and writing right away, is still the order of the day, and there is no escape from this ever as long as you profess yourself to be a researcher.

2 Comments:

At May 16, 2006 at 10:23 PM, Blogger MLanz said...

Dear DrKamy, yes u r rit, data collection is the most essential thing in research. Even if you wants to open a shop or what ever business you want to venture, data is very important and to documented is essential.

After I've read all your posting to the latest Chapter 11, I guess that i really have to dig deep in my mind what am I going to do for my MA.

Thanks

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Do visit myblog :
http://kulchas.blogspot.com/

 
At August 13, 2009 at 7:07 PM, Blogger Sarah Joan Mokhtar said...

Very useful.

 

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