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Fieldwork Methodology

A guide to preparing for and performing fieldwork in the social sciences

How to Use this Guide

Welcome! This guide can help you prepare for and perform fieldwork, then process and analyze your data. Please note that many of the tips are from my own experience as a folklorist and anthropologist; take what seems useful for you and ignore anything that is not relevant. I have also included links to helpful tutorials, research sites, videos, and books.

The Preparation tab includes information on the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process, creating informed consent forms, selecting appropriate technology, and preparing survey tools and interview questions.

The In the Field tab details various fieldwork methodologies, as well as tips on how to find participants, the logistics of interviews and other methods, and common challenges.

The Processing & Analysis tab contains instructions for transcription, translation, citing your data, data processing and archiving, and coding and analyzing data.

The Tips From the Experts tab has a wealth of practical advice from career field researchers.

The Library Resources tab has links to several handbooks and guides to fieldwork.

Questions, comments, or suggestions for resources? Please contact me through the email link to the right.

Students in the Field

Short film by anthropology student Olivia Haber-Greenwood of her meeting with women in India to discuss the figure of Rama  (Source: YouTube)