Here are some questions to ask yourself before you go out into the field to collect research data, whether qualitative or quantitative.
____ Have you returned all borrowed library resources? (…don’t get fines for recalled books!)
____ Have you gotten and tested recording tools for this data, as well as transferred sample data to your computer?
____ Do you have a means for physical backups in the field (external hard drive)?
____ What data are you collecting (text, GPS, images, photo, audio, ephemera?)
____ Have you created a system for organizing this data in physical or virtual files and folders?
____ Will you annotate files in the field (captions for photos, context for interviews) or later?
____ Have you found out when and how often you will have internet access?
____ Have you automated or set up a plan for backing up data through secured connections?
____ Where will you back up secured data to (dropbox, drive, box)?
____ What file formats are you using, and can they be imported into analysis software?
____ Who else will have access to your data (passwords, mail or emailed documents)? What if something happens to you?
____ Do you have a system for anonymizing sensitive files in the field?
____ Have you received IRB approval (and thought about archiving or sharing data in the consent form?)
____ Do you have a plan for what information will be recorded in your fieldnotes, lab notebook, etc on contextual information, any challenges in research, and ongoing questions or concerns?
____ How will you collect and organize irreplaceable data (interview audio, ephemera)?
Need someone to walk through this with you before going into the field? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a consultation!