Online research about online research: advantages and disadvantages
Aim. Many people believe that the Internet may revolutionise several disciplines by
allowing easier and faster data collection, larger and geographically diverse samples, and
therefore collecting more representative data. However, others are skeptical of its usability
as well as its practical value. The paper’s aim is to highlight both positive and negative
outcomes in the online research.
Methods. The paper is based on the e-methodological approach by using exclusively
online data and online research methods: secondary data/articles with an open access
about the topic in the literature review section; and online forum as an online research
method for the data collection.
Results. As the most common advantages are recognised: quick access to information,
wide geographical scope, a larger sample size leading to greater statistical power, reduced
cost of conducting empirical research, support from online search engines and data bases,
open data sources, no need for face-to-face interaction, no paper wasted. The most common
disadvantages appointed by the respondents are: the need of evaluation for the accuracy
of the online sources, the need for Internet access, limited access or high costs of some data
bases, the contrast between fresh and redundant data available, irrelevant data, the need
and knowledge for precise formulation of the key phrases/questions, users’ multiple accounts,
AI involvement, low motivation of the targeted respondents, unreliable answers, etc.
Conclusions. It is interesting that the narratives confi rm the already highlighted positive
and negative outcomes in the online research process as they are already elaborated
in the theoretical frame. This research proves that is possible to use the online forums for
gathering data, especially in the kinds of networks, where the most important attribute of
the respondents is known solely by the membership itself. Because the internet is widespread,
easily available, low costing, it is important to open a wide discussion about overcoming
shortcomings on online research approach, and come to the useful and improved
Copyright (c) 2020 MARIJA TOPUZOVSKA LATKOVIKJ, MIRJANA BOROTA POPOVSKA
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