Abstract and Keywords
Internet-mediated research (IMR) has grown expansively over the past decade in scope, range of methodological possibilities, and breadth of penetration across disciplines and research domains. However, the use of IMR approaches to support qualitative research has lagged behind its application in supporting quantitative methods. This chapter discusses the possibilities of using IMR methods in qualitative research and considers the issues and debates that have led some qualitative researchers to be reluctant to consider IMR as a viable alternative to traditional offline methods. The chapter adopts an optimistic stance on the potential for qualitative IMR and outlines a range of possible methods and strategies, as well as examples of successful (and less successful) studies. Practical advice on tools, procedures, and guidelines for good design practice is offered. A comment on likely future scope, methods, emerging techniques, and developments in qualitative IMR is presented.
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