Factors to consider when choosing data collection methods
Keywords:qualitative research, quantitative research, mixed research
Novice and experienced researchers may encounter numerous methodological challenges when it comes to data collection. Data have to be collected from the right sources using appropriate data collection tools to make research studies impactful. There are numerous data collection methods that researchers may use but not all methods are appropriate for all research studies. Choosing inappropriate research methods may result in invalid research findings and lead to erroneous conclusions. This means researchers have to carefully choose data collection methods to make their studies achieve their respective goals. This study intended to identify factors that researchers have to consider in choosing data collection methods. A systematic literature review was used to analyze 28 journal articles published between 2018 and 2022. From the analysis the study identified ten (10) factors that researchers have to consider in choosing data collection methods. These factors are; the research goal, the scope of the study, sample size, type of data, time and user-friendliness to the subjects. Other factors are research approach, safety and security of a researcher, the need for triangulation and theoretical framework. Before choosing methods for data collection, it is important to put into consideration these factors to increase the chances of achieving research objectives and answering research questions of research projects.
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