ABSTRACT

Most research plans, prepared before heading into the ‡eld, are detailed, well-thought-through and well-written, conforming to institutional requirements as well as to the researcher’s commitment to problem-solving and the creation of new knowledge. Looking back from the perspective of a completed project, however, most research plans are works of ‡ction, describing the researchers’ hopes, rather than predicting what ended up happening. Data collection in the ‡eld o³en looks quite dierent from the way it looked in the planning stage of the research. Unanticipated diÇculties emerge, but unanticipated opportunities also arise. ‚e intent of this chapter is to help researchers minimize the possibility of being defeated by common challenges in data gathering, as well as to help researchers seize on the unanticipated opportunities to improve and strengthen their research, beyond what was envisioned in their plan.