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Design Decisions in Research

5. The Empirical Phase

Considerable attention to detail is required in the data collection phase of any research study in order to decrease the introduction of bias and to ensure complete data sets for all participants.

The next phase of the research process is the empirical phase. This involves the collection of data and the preparation of data for analysis. A data collection plan needs to be developed specifying:

  • What data will be collected;
  • How the data will be collected (i.e., in person, over the phone);
  • Who will collect the data;
  • How data collectors will be trained; and
  • The data collection procedure (i.e., what order forms are filled out, what the interview questions are).