I have to chose two data collection methods for research to write about. I think I’m going to do focus groups and transaction logs. One focuses on gathering information from people, while the other focuses on gathering technical information about how people behave.
I like that they both have limits in differing ways. In focus groups, you have people interpreting what they do and why they do it. They might consider what they’d like to do in new and different ways. But every piece of information you get is filtered through someone else, and they might influence each other in some way – discussion leading to new thoughts, domineering personalities shutting down opinion. Transaction logs are cold and hard. Data won’t be frightened into hiding by the stern way someone looks at it. The problem here is that the researcher can’t go back and probe for reasons and intent.
Now off to find those studies in library science that used those types of data collections.