Online ‘chatting’ interviews: An acceptable method for qualitative data collection

Suggested citation: Gunawan, J., Marzilli, C., & Aungsuroch, Y. (2022). Online ‘chatting’ interviews: An acceptable method for qualitative data collection.Belitung Nursing Journal8(4), 277–279.


Qualitative research methods allow researchers to understand the experiences of patients, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Qualitative research also provides scientists with information about how decisions are made and the aspects of existing interventions. However, to get to obtain this important information, qualitative research requires holistic, rich, and nuanced data that can be analyzed to determine themes, categories, or emerging patterns. Generally, offline or in-person interviews, focus group discussions, and observations are three core approaches to data collection. However, geographical barriers, logistic challenges, and emergency conditions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic have necessitated the utilization of online interviews, including chatting as an alternative way of collecting data. This editorial aims to discuss the possibility of online chat interviews as an acceptable design in qualitative data collection.

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Data collection is the process of gathering information on variables of interest using accurate, authentic, systematic, and appropriate techniques to answer research questions, hypotheses, and desired outcomes. Rigorous data collection is essential to maintaining research integrity and scientific validity of study results (Barrett &Twycross, 2018).

Data collection methods are divided into two methods, namely secondary and primary data collection methods. Secondary data is from secondary sources, or sources not compiled directly by the researchers. The data may include published and unpublished works based on research that relies on primary sources (Rabianski, 2003). The secondary data collection method does not take long, and the resources of effort and cost are less. Secondary data is now growing as a preferred source of data for researchers due to the movement of open data science and the emergence of Open Access Initiatives (OAI). Along with open data and OAI, the accompanying policies that promote open access are an opportunity for researchers to gain access to data that may have been difficult to obtain in the past.

In contrast, primary data is real-time data, or first-hand obtained directly by researchers. This usually requires significant time, effort, and cost (Rabianski, 2003). Primary data collection methods are generally divided into quantitative and qualitative data.

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