In Section 5.8 of the Capella Quantitative Research Plan (RP), you will provide an in-depth view of how you will collect your data. This section, like the other procedures sections of your RP, requires sufficient detail for future researchers to replicate your study. Organizing your procedures in bullet form is a terrific first step. Make sure that this bulleted list covers every step of your data collection; detail is key because it can help you plan to avoid future pitfalls. You can then expand this bulleted list into a full narrative for data collection.
Section 5.8 begins with implementing informed consent (for primary data collection) or gaining permission to access data (for secondary data collection). For primary data collection, remember that you will have to specify how participants will indicate consent to participate; often, for online data collection participants will have to select either ‘consent’ or ‘do not consent’ using a multiple choice formatted question. You may also state that proceeding to the survey after reviewing the informed consent indicates consent to participate.
Next, you will describe how participants will provide their data. Will they complete a survey online? Will you administer a paper and pencil survey? Are you getting data from another source? You will describe the exact method in this section. Again, you need to provide enough detail to allow for replication of your study by future researchers.
Finally, indicate how and where you will store data. Indicate where the information will be stored, and what type of security measures you will implement to safeguard participants’ data. Specify how you will store any hard copies of data (paper) and any electronic copies of data. Typically, paper copies of data should be stored in a locked filing cabinet in a secure location (e.g., the researcher’s private office); electronic data should be stored on a password-protected computer. Close the section by indicating how long you will store data and how you will destroy data at the end of the storage period.
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