What should one tell respondents in the first phone call? How to break the ice and raise interest in one's research?
We had a useful discussion on fieldwork experiences during our Marie Curie Network School at KU Leuven last week. It turned out that some of us might have problems of access and I would like to share some ideas on that with fellow Phds and the wider network.
The following checklist by Weiss (1995: 35) is really helpful. This is what you need to tell the respondent in a first phone call in order to have him on board for you research:
1. who the investigator is (job or position),
2. reasons for the study (why it matters),
3. the study's sponsorship (highly useful here are governments or the EU),
4. how the respondent's name was found (or who gave you his number),
5. why the respondend was selected (why he/she is important for you research),
6. the purpose of the interview,
7. the (kinds of) questions to be asked or topics to be addressed,
8. whether confidentiality is guaranteed and
9. whether or not you will use tape record.
Source: Robert S. Weiss (1994) 'Learning from Strangers. The Art and Method of Qualitative Interview Studies', New York: TheFfree Press.
This source was thankfully pointed out to students by Marie Ostergaard Moller from Aarhus University Denmark during the ECPR Winter School in Methods and Techniques in February 2014.
Best of luck to all,
Mona Aranea (ESR 2)