Field Notes

Field notes are written observations recorded during or soon after participant observations in the field. Sharan Merriam and Elizabeth Tisdell (2015) characterize field notes as “what is written down or mechanically recorded from a period of observations”; put another way, field notes are raw data that come in either a complete (continuous) or sketch-like form (p. 149). Merriam and Tisdell urge researchers to write, type, or dictate field notes into a full narrative as soon after an observation as possible. Field notes can also be described as qualitative notes that are recorded by the researcher in the course of studying a particular phenomenon. Field notes are generally kept before, during, and after a study and help elucidate a phenomenon being researched.

Field notes allow researchers to ...

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