Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Shout Out to Janet Salmons!

I want to give a shout out to Janet Salmons, author of Doing Qualitative Research Online (2016, Sage Publications), for coming up with one of the most elegant ways to categorize qualitative research data that I have yet encountered.  Three words, all beginning with “E”: 




Extant materials are already available (created or made) and ready to be picked. 

Elicited are materials that a researcher gleans from researchees in real time or through a direct interaction with the participants.

Enacted calls for researcher and participants to create the data, such as you would do with role playing or arts-based research.  

I am embarrassed to say how many hours I have spent writing notes and drawing diagrams as I tried to figure out how to find a simple way to categorize the many possible forms of research one can find or create.  It’s even more complicated when you try to figure in how to work with face-to-face vs online or virtual data collection. 

When I discovered Salmon’s three E’s, I was momentarily stunned (Why hadn’t I thought of this!), but then elated because I could stop the endless quest for the framework that constantly eluded me. 

I want to say “Thank you Janet Salmons for creating this way of describing data.  I will be using your new book this fall in my Advanced Qualitative Research, and I will be singing the praises of the three “E’s” when I do!” 

You can learn more about her work at her author’s website:

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