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Online and Offline Data, Comparison of

The comparison of online and offline data is rooted in the research questions that investigators ask themselves. Online data are empirical sets of information that are either obtained from a source on the Internet or collected through an Internet-based service. For instance, a researcher may wish to analyze the communication between individuals in an online support group, or he or she may collect survey information about supportive communication through the use of an Internet-based survey. Offline data are empirical sets of information that are collected outside the medium of the Internet. Researchers interested in observing talk-in-action during a dinner conversation might record such conversations to review, or experimenters might ask individuals to speak to each other in a laboratory setting.

All empirical research will analyze ...

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