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Qualitative Online Interviews
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Qualitative Online Interviews
Strategies, Design, and Skills

Second Edition
Additional resources:


April 2014 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The Second Edition of Qualitative Online Interviews provides researchers the guidance they need to extend the reach of their studies beyond physical boundaries. Focusing on designing, conducting, and assessing data drawn from online interviews as well as from observations, materials, and artifacts collected online, the book emphasizes the use of in-depth interviews in qualitative research or mixed-methods designs. Written in an easy-to-read manner, the thorough Second Edition offers the practical information and scholarly foundations needed to make thoughtful decisions in technology-infused research.

See how Qualitative Online Interviews can be used in a course with these sample course outlines:

Online Interviews Design and Practice

Qualitative Inquiry and Online Interviews

Online Interviews and Case Analysis


Watch a short video overview of the new edition of Qualitative Online Interviews:


 
List of Figures
 
List of Tables
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Chapter 1: The E-Interview Research Framework
Interview Research: A Window Into the Lived Experience

 
Online Interview Research

 
Online Interviews and Multimethod Research

 
A Conceptual Framework for E-Interview Research

 
Aligning Purpose and Design

 
Choosing Online Data Collection Method for the Study

 
Taking a Position as a Researcher

 
Determining E-Interview or Observation Style(s)

 
Selecting ICT and Milieu

 
Using Visual Research in Online Interviews and Observations

 
Handling Sampling and Recruiting

 
Addressing Ethical Issues

 
Collecting the Data

 
Closing Thoughts

 
 
Chapter 2: Aligning Purpose and Design
Research: New Knowledge and Understandings

 
Understanding the “Research Interview”

 
What Is an In-Depth Research Interview?

 
Interviews in an Interview Society

 
Research Epistemologies, Methodologies, and Methods

 
Theories and Research Design

 
Epistemologies Influence Design Choices

 
Mixed Methods, Multimethods, and Mixed Epistemologies

 
Methodologies and Methods: Key Principles and Distinctions

 
Interviews and Observations in Qualitative and Mixed-Methods Studies

 
Closing Thoughts

 
Researcher’s Notebook

 
The E-Interview Research Framework: Creating a Coherent Design

 
Aligning Purpose and Design Across Qualitative Methodologies

 
Key Concepts

 
Discussions and Assignments

 
On the Web

 
 
Chapter 3: Choosing Online Data Collection Method and Taking a Position as a Researcher
Choosing to Collect Data with ICTs Based on Medium, Setting, or Phenomenon

 
Taking a Position as a Researcher

 
Insider (Emic) or Outsider (Etic) E-Research Positions

 
Rethinking Research Metaphors: Travelers, Gardeners, or Miners?

 
Positions, Power, and Symmetry in Interviews

 
Reflexivity and the Researcher’s Position

 
Closing Thoughts

 
Researcher’s Notebook

 
The E-Interview Research Framework: Choosing E-Interviews and Positions

 
Stories of Online Inquiry

 
Key Concepts

 
Discussions and Assignments

 
On the Web

 
 
Chapter 4: Determining E-Interview or Observation Styles
Structure and the Online Interview

 
Typology of E-Interview Structures

 
Structured Interviews

 
Semistructured Interviews

 
Unstructured Interviews

 
Life Story or Oral History Interviews

 
Postmodern Interviews

 
Co-Constructed Narratives

 
Creative Interviews

 
Structure and Technology

 
Structured Interviews

 
Semistructured Interviews

 
Unstructured Interviews

 
Motivations for Online Interviews and the Typology of E-Interview Structures

 
The Researcher’s Position and the Typology of E-Interview Structures

 
Interviews in Qualitative, Mixed-Methods, and Multimethod Studies

 
Closing Thoughts

 
Researcher’s Notebook

 
The E-Interview Research Framework: Determining Styles for Online Interviews

 
Stories of Online Inquiry

 
Key Concepts

 
Discussions and Assignments

 
On the Web

 
 
Chapter 5: Selecting Information and Communication Technologies and Research Setting Milieu
Technology Equals Change

 
Forces for Change

 
The Internet: The Medium Warms

 
Technology Convergence: “Technologies Are Crashing Together”

 
Interactivity and Collaboration

 
Communication Richness

 
Nonverbal Communications and Online Interviews

 
Synchronous, Near-Synchronous, and Asynchronous Communication

 
Tools and Features for Online Interview Research

 
Aligning Features With Research Purposes

 
Choosing, Finding, or Creating a Conducive Meeting Space

 
Closing Thoughts

 
Researcher’s Notebook

 
The E-Interview Research Framework: Selecting ICTs and Milieu

 
Stories of Online Inquiry

 
Key Concepts

 
Discussions and Assignments

 
On the Web

 
 
Chapter 6: Visual Research and the Online Qualitative Interview
Seeing the Interview: Visual Questions, Visual Answers

 
Multimodal Communication in a Multilingual World

 
Visual Literacy and Spatial Intelligence

 
Typology of Online Visual Interview Methods

 
Visual Methods in Online Interviews

 
Text-Based Interviews

 
Video Conference, Video Call, or Video Chat

 
Multichannel Web Conference Meeting Spaces

 
Immersive Virtual Environments

 
Using Visual Methods to Enrich Online Interview Data

 
Issues in Online Visual Research

 
Perceptual Issues

 
Ethical Issues

 
Closing Thoughts

 
Researcher’s Notebook

 
Stories of Online Inquiry

 
Structured Visual Online Interviews

 
Semistructured and Unstructured Visual Online Interviews

 
Key Concepts

 
Discussions and Assignments

 
On the Web

 
 
Chapter 7: Handling Sampling and Recruiting: Selecting Participants for Online Interviews
A Critical Decision: Whom to Interview?

 
Sampling in Qualitative Research

 
Types of Sampling

 
Size of Sample

 
Sample Frames

 
Sampling and Recruiting for Online Interview Research

 
Design Decisions Influence Sampling and Recruiting

 
Sampling Approaches Appropriate for Online Interview Research

 
Communicating With Potential Participants

 
Ensuring That Participants Are Credible

 
Participants Are Nominated by Trustworthy Third Party

 
Participants Are Pulled From Existing Sample Frames

 
Ensuring Research Participants That Researchers Are Credible

 
Getting Out the Recruitment Message

 
Closing Thoughts

 
Researcher’s Notebook

 
The E-Interview Research Framework: Handling Sampling and Recruiting

 
Stories of Online Inquiry

 
Key Concepts

 
Discussions and Assignments

 
On the Web

 
 
Chapter 8: Addressing Ethical Issues in Online Interview Research
Ethical Research Design and Online Interviews

 
Ethical Research Design Fundamentals

 
Informed Consent

 
Informed Consent and Online Research

 
Informed Consent in Online Interview Research

 
Informed Consent in Online Observation Research

 
Identity and Privacy

 
Withdrawal From the Online Study

 
Protection of Data

 
Ethical Frameworks

 
The Deontological Approach

 
The Consequentialist or Utilitarian Approach

 
The Virtue Ethics Approach

 
Toward an Understanding of Internet Research Ethics

 
Research Design, Ethics, and Review Boards

 
Risk/Benefit Analysis

 
Review Issues for Informed Consent

 
Review Issues for Privacy and Confidentiality

 
Closing Thoughts

 
Researcher’s Notebook

 
The E-Interview Research Framework: Addressing Ethical Issues

 
Stories of Online Inquiry: Three Researchers—Ethical or Not?

 
Key Concepts

 
Discussions and Assignments

 
On the Web

 
 
Chapter 9: Preparing for an Online Interview
Planning to Interview

 
Preparing the Questions

 
Communications Technologies and Online Interview Preparation

 
Considerations for ICT Selection

 
Learning the ICT

 
Interview Preparation by ICT Type

 
Preparing for Any Online Interview

 
Preparing for a Text-Based Interview

 
Synchronicity and Synchronous/Near Synchronous Text-Based Interviews

 
Preparing for an Asynchronous Text-Based Interview

 
Preparing for a Video Interview

 
Preparing to Interview in a Web Conferencing Meeting Space

 
Preparing to Interview in an Immersive Virtual Environment

 
Getting Ready to Interview

 
Defining Roles

 
Epoche, Self-Reflection, and Preparing to Listen

 
Closing Thoughts

 
Researcher’s Notebook

 
Stories of Online Inquiry

 
Key Concepts

 
Discussions and Assignments

 
On the Web

 
 
Chapter 10: Conducting the Online Interview
Interviewer and the Interview

 
Conducting a Research Interview

 
Opening the Interview

 
Questioning and Guiding

 
Closing the Interview

 
Post-Interview Follow-Up

 
Conducting a Research Interview Using Synchronous Technologies

 
Text-Based Interview

 
Video Conference Interview

 
Interviews in Multichannel Web Conferencing Meeting Spaces

 
Interviews in Immersive Virtual Environments

 
Closing Thoughts

 
Researcher’s Notebook

 
The E-Interview Research Framework: Conducting the Study

 
Stories of Online Inquiry

 
Key Concepts

 
Discussions and Assignments

 
On the Web

 
 
Chapter 11: Contributing Quality E-Research to the Literature
Using the E-Interview Research Framework to Assess Design and Research Quality

 
Aligning Purpose and Design

 
Coherent but Flexible Design

 
Choosing Online Data Collection Method for the Study

 
Taking a Position as a Researcher

 
Insider–Outsider Perspectives and Interpretations

 
Power Dynamics

 
Reflexivity

 
Determining E-Interview or Observation Style(s)

 
Selecting ICT and Milieu

 
Handling Sampling and Recruiting

 
Addressing Ethical Issues

 
Conducting the Interview

 
Closing Thoughts

 
Researcher’s Notebook

 
Stories of Online Inquiry

 
Discussions and Assignments

 
 
Chapter 12: Online Communications and Online Interviews Trends and Influences
Online Communications and Online Interviews

 
Anywhere, Anytime Communication

 
Online Collaboration and Social Literacies

 
Disintermediation and Apomediation

 
Privacy in Online Milieus

 
ICT Trends and Implications for Researchers

 
Closing Thoughts and Recommendations for Further Research

 
Discussions and Assignments

 
 
Appendix: Qualitative Data Analysis
 
Glossary of Terms
 
References
 
Index

Supplements

Companion Website

The open-access Companion Website includes the following:

  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards reinforce understanding of key terms and concepts that have been outlined in the chapters.
  • Worksheets assist readers in preparing the right information, questions, and answers.
  • A variety of E-Research Tips ?help readers prepare for interviews.
  • Video media pieces feature the author, Janet Salmons, walking readers through the concepts in her book.
  • Sample syllabi and course outlines help instructors plan a course using this book.

“The text is an excellent example for providing effective and efficient instruction. Learners can easily navigate the various components, and it can be used for self-study. . . . Marvelous depth of coverage on the online interview process. It is at the leading edge of thinking in the field of e-research.”

Anne-Marie Armstrong, Colorado Technical University

“[This book] presents a clear, research-based conceptual framework to understand both the process of qualitative data collection using interviews, as well as ethical and practical considerations associated with design and implementation. This is a most comprehensive book addressing the concepts and protocol of qualitative research methods with particular consideration for computer-mediated thinking, connecting, interviewing, and data collection and analysis. . . . This text is more than a “how-to” volume on qualitative interviewing. This book is rich with the organizational structure of the process of qualitative methodology that enhances the methods!”

Sally R. Beisser, Drake University

“The new edition is timely, and covers relevant areas of using available online media to collect qualitative interviews. Particularly useful as a text to help those who want to do research on global/international participants without being limited by availability of funding for travelling abroad.”

Faith Wambura Ngunjiri, Eastern University

“[This is] a very thoughtful and engaged text on very important 21st century issues. Concepts, even very difficult ones, are explained clearly and gracefully.”

Laura J. Hatcher, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

“It provides a one-stop shop for conducting interviews.”

Debra Borie-Holtz, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

“This book is ahead of its time.  It tackles the complicated matter of merging technology with research in a rather lucid manner.”

David Lee Carlson, Arizona State University

“The text provides excellent coverage of up-to-date alternatives to the face-to-face interview. . . . It provides a framework for learning and thinking about online methods, and it provides tools for designing and conducting online interviews.  It is honest and practical.  It sits on the top of the new directions in research in the ever growing digital arena.”

Sherri Oden, Oakland University

Janet Salmons has remarkably managed to produce a comprehensive guidance manual for new researchers in today’s digital age, which will also appeal to, and be useful for, experienced researchers. She takes qualitative research thoroughly and imaginatively forward into the totally new world where information technology must feature prominently in our researching. In so doing, she builds upon established traditions and practices, and extends and enhances them to exploit the resources of the present day. She has been aided in this by a publisher who has produced an intensely readable book, in which the creative use of splendidly explanatory diagrams, fonts, colours, boxes, headings, structuring, and signposting makes it generally delightfully easy for the reader to assimilate and navigate.

John Cowan, Doctoral Supervisor, The Business School, Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland
British Educational Research Association

I found the practical tips extremely helpful, and I see that not only students or new researchers, but also more experienced scholars, could benefit from it. The author offers recommendations that cover all stages of the research process described in the book, which help one to execute a study.

Antonina Bauman, Hawai’i Pacific University
Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management

I found the book’s format user-friendly. Each element of the framework has a dedicated chapter and, at the end of each chapter, there is a checklist of questions to consider when putting the element into practice... I have developed my face-to-face interviewing skills through experience and reflection, and I am looking to develop my online interviewing skills in the same way. Salmons offers a constructive and thoughtful way to do so.

Celia Netana, research assistant, University of South Wales
SRA Research Matters
Key features

New and Key Features:

  • Provides guidance on ethical practices in online research
  • Offers direction for conducting interviews via various synchronous and asynchronous communications technologies
  • Shows how online observations, posts and documents can complement online interviews
  • Explores use of visual methods in online research
  • Adds a chapter on evaluating quality in online research
  • Explains sound foundations in accepted qualitative and mixed methods theory and practice
  • Includes templates, links and examples, syllabi and learning activities on the companion website

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1


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