Assessment task 2: Reflecting on types and sources of data
Word count: 1500 - 1750 words
Having formulated a question, you can now begin to think about how you might answer it. In order to answer it, you must collect some data. In this assessment task, you will: take one of the three research questions you proposed in the assessment task one, consider what data is required to answer that question, identify some methods of data creation that will enable you to collect this data, and identify some possible sources of existing data.
In later courses in your program, you may be asked to design a research project and conduct that project. Or you may be given a question, or even a question and method, and asked to conduct the research project from that starting point. This assessment task is designed to help you prepare for those later projects by reflecting on the different data collection skills needed to carry out specific kinds of research.
In this assessment task, you will need to address the following questions:
· Identifying a question: Choose one of the questions from your previous assessment task. How did you develop your question?: Discuss the process through which you developed the research question. Reflect on what worked and what did not work, and how, in light of that, you have revised the question.
· What data will you need to answer your question?: In order to answer your research question, you must create or find some data. Discuss what data you think you will need in order to answer your question.
· How will you create data?: For this section, draw explicitly on at least the relevant sections from the following two e-books (available through the RMIT library):
o Vogt, W. Paul, Dianne C. Gardner, Lynne M. Haeffele.When to Use What Research Design. New York: Guilford Publications, 2017;
o Denscombe, Martyn.The Good Research Guide for small-scale social research projects, 5th edition, Berkshire, England: McGraw-Hill Education, 2014 (other editions of this text are also fine)
o You may also draw on additional texts, chosen from your own independent readings
· Drawing on (and explicitly citing) the relevant sections from the above texts:
o evaluate the strengths and limitations of each data creation method you have selected. In the case of strengths, explain how that method will enable you to create the data that you need to answer your question. In the case of limitations, explain how the method may limit what you can learn about your question;
o consider the ethical risks each data creation method involves; and
o identify the method that you think is best, and explain why you think that method will best enable you to get the data you need to answer your question
· What existing data might be available?
o Sometimes you do not need to create new data: sometimes the data already exist. Identify possible sources of existing data that you could use to answer your question.
o Evaluate the strengths and limitations of these sources of data by explaining how these sources will enable you to answer your question, or how they may limit the answers you could provide.
The week 8 tutorial will prepare you for this aspect of the task.
· Throughout your reflection, cite supporting material from the podcasts, readings, and tutorial discussions. Assigned readings can be cited using standard inline citations (e.g.: Author 2010, p. 32). Podcasts can be cited as (Phelan 2017: week X, slide y). Tutorial discussion can be cited as (Personal Reflection 2017: tutorial week X) if you are citing your own observations, or as (Name 2017: tutorial week X) if you are quoting or paraphrasing someone else’s comments. Include full citations for all works referenced in a 'works cited' section at the end of your assessment.
Assessment criteria for assessment 2:
This task will be assessed on the following criteria:
· Engagement with the course: assessed by evaluating how you demonstrate evidence of engagement with the readings, podcasts, and tutorial contents through direct references to a range of those materials;
· Developing a research question: assessed by evaluating how well you apply concepts from across the course to reflect on the process of developing a research question;
· Reflection on data: assessed by evaluating how well you explain what data you will need to answer your question;
· Selecting methods of data creation: assessed by evaluating how successfully you identify three methods of data creation; and how well you explain the strengths and limitations of those methods for your question, with reference to the texts specified as essential in the assessment instructions;
· Identifying existing data sources: assessed by evaluating how well you apply concepts from across the course to identify potential sources of existing data for your question; and how well you explain the strengths and limitations of those sources for your question;
· Academic referencing conventions: assessed by evaluating how well you meet the conventions of academic referencing, including the use of citations wherever appropriate, a full and comprehensive works cited section, and consistent application of the referencing system used in your professional discipline.
*Assessment Criteria (Source: FSR course guide)
Assessment 2 assessment criteria:
This task will be assessed on the following criteria:
Assessment criteria for assessment 2:
This task will be assessed on the following criteria:
Reflecting on types and sources of data
This essay aims to reflect on the process of research question formation and data collection. By assessing the constructing process of research question and the selection of data collection methods, this assessment essay will help the researchers better prepared for the subsequent research.
The process of the research question development
The research question is determined as how to protect the security of national citizens who are at foreign countries. Basically, there are three source for research questions, including external world, personal interest of researcher, and discipline-based theory (Vogt et al., 2012). The research question for this study comes from the personal interest of researcher and is developed in the field of international studies and focuses on a social issue. Once the research area is determined, the next step is to identify the topic within that area that interests me and on which that I have some backgrounds and basic knowledge. According to Agee, good research question is developed in a reflexive and interactive inquiry (Agee, 2009). As a result，the research question was firstly broadly framed as the basis for the research, which will direct the study design and data collection process. Several elements are first incorporated in the research question, including security and citizens. Then, the research question is refined after the literature review and the collection of relevant information. Since the question is broadly defined, the focus is then narrowed down to securities of citizens when they are in foreign countries. In addition, in the process of collecting relevant information, it is found that there are several words that more frequently appears compared with the term “at foreign countries”, which includes “overseas” and “abroad”. Moreover, the term “security” might cause misunderstanding for misleading readers to think about the word “social security”, which includes insurance, healthcare, and other social benefits. As a result, the research question is refined based on the findings as how to protect national citizens abroad. In conclusion, the research question is developed based on the following process. First, the area of interest is decided as the field of international studies. Within this broad area, the problem is defined with key words, including protection, citizens, and abroad. The aim is to understand the mechanism to protect citizens abroad. Then, a literature review is briefly conducted and the research is refined based on information collected.
Reflection on data
In order to answer the requestion question how to protect national citizens abroad, relevant data should be collected. The question will be answered from three perspectives, the perspective of the citizens who are actually abroad, the perspective of regulators and governments as to what are the approaches and measure they are taking to protect their citizens abroad, and the perspectives of other researchers and journalists. The feedbacks from citizens who are currently abroad will reveal that how they are actually protected by a variety of means by their countries. For example, a survey is conduced online with respondents who are citizens living abroad currently. Question will be asked regarding their experience in which they are protected by their original countries, including safety issue, protection, and other benefits. Sample question includes have you ever received guidance from your country embassy as to how to seek for help when in danger or trouble and could you list a several means that you can seek for help from your country when facing danger. Moreover, in order to investigate the problem from perspective of regulators and governments as to what are the approaches and measure they are taking to protect their citizens abroad, interview will be conducted. Example of interview includes for instance, in case of an earthquake, what the government will do to protect your citizens abroad. Since it might not be easy to reach the government officers in person, such interview might be conducted online or by email. Additionally, the perspectives of other researchers and journalists will be collected by literature review in order to study existing methods of protecting citizens abroad. A preliminary literature review finds relevant article and journals such as journal article the Protection of Citizens Abroad and Change of Original Nationality (Borchard, 1934), online report Can China Protect Its Citizens Abroad (Wong, 2013), and online article The complexities of protecting citizens abroad (Akila, 2017). All the information collected will be categorized based on countries, which will help better understanding regarding how different countries differ in the issue of protecting their citizens abroad. In addition, the data will also be classified by regions and other categories, including income level and culture background, which will shield lights on how characteristics of a countries might have implication for their chosen measures in terms of protection their citizens.
In order to collect data to answer the research question, the three methods of data collection will be used in this research including Archival design and secondary data, Interview, and Survey.
Survey is considered as an efficient way of colleting primary data since researchers are able to collect a large number of data with relatively low costs. Based on the five criteria of selecting survey for the research purpose, the survey is efficient when the data will be best acquired from respondent in a direct manner and data can be acquired with brief answer with relatively structured questions (Agee, 2009). Moreover, it should also be expected that information from respondents are reliable and the researchers have knowledge in how to use the answers. Since the aim of survey used in this study is to collected how citizens abroad are perceived as they are protected by their countries, the answer will be best obtained directly from respondents. Moreover, the question can be structured based on several aspects such as diplomatic measures, mediation, negotiation, and economic measures. The strength of survey as a data collection method is that it helps to collected a large number of data with minimal costs. However, there are some drawbacks of survey. First, while the data is generated from large scale survey, the information might lack details and depths to answer the research question. Moreover, the response rate might be low and might be easily ignored by the respondents (Denscombe, 2014).
Another method used for collecting primary data in this research is interview. The interview used in this study is to investigate what measures governments are taking in order to protect their citizens are abroad. The interviewees will be contact person and representative from government body and the interview will be in form of online interview or telephone interview in person interview is less possible. In addition, the interview will help to collect insightful and in-depth data based o the privilege information from the interviewees. For this study, semi-structured interview is adopted with a list of issues to be emphasized and questions to be answered. The flexibility of semi-structured interview might help to extract other useful information. Interview will help to collect in-depth information and provides more insights regarding the question. In addition, the flexibility and high response rate are some other advantages of interview. However, there are also some disadvantages (Denscombe, 2014). For example, interview is time consuming and it takes researchers a large amount of time to prepare, conduct, and analyze the interview. In addition, since the information is collected in a non coded manner, the analysis of data requires the researchers to code and then analyze the information. Moreover, the accessibility of interviewees might pose challenges to researcher considering the nature of the research question in this study.
In order to collected secondary data, archival data will be gather through reviewing relevant literatures. Sources of literature include published materials such as books and newspapers, government and other public records, internet source of data such as online articles and blogs, and data based indented for researchers(Vogt et al., 2012). For this study, online articles and reports regarding how countries protected their citizens abroad in times of emergencies are example of secondary data that are relevant to the study. Reports and records from the government websites and publications and journals from scholar researches in the past will also be considered as suitable secondary data. The use of secondary data and literature review provides researchers access to a vast amount of data and it is a cost efficient way to gather information. However, the credibility of data varies based on the source of data.
Existing sources for collecting data are more of the nature of secondary data. For this research, existing sources of data comes from the following channels. One is the regulation and laws by different countries. A preliminary research finds that countries have incorporates the protection of citizens abroad into their laws. For example, the US has code 1731 as guidance of protection to naturalized citizens abroad (U.S., 2017b). Researchers and scholars have also provide relevant data regarding using different methods to protect citizens abroad. For instance, Senhas discussed U.S. Diplomatic Protection of Citizens Abroad in his research (Sen, 1965)and similarly, Moraruhas conducted a legal assessment of the right of EU citizens to consular and diplomatic protection (Moraru, 2011). Besides, existing sources also include government issuance and announcements. For instance, the U.S. Customer and Border Protection provides tips to guide safe travel of U.S. citizens abroad (U.S., 2017a). Comments and articles from freelancers online consists another source for secondary data. One example is the article on the improved protection of China for is citizens overseas (Duchâtel, 2012). Besides comments, reports from research center will also help, such as the reports from CQpress on the issue of Protection of American Lives and Property Abroad (Evans, 1931).
Agee, J. 2009. Developing qualitative research questions: a reflective process. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education,22,431-447.
Akila, S. 2017. The complexities of protecting citizens abroad. 47. Available: http://reporter.anu.edu.au/complexities-protecting-citizens-abroad [Accessed 2017 September 10].
Borchard, E. M. 1934. The Protection of Citizens Abroad and Change of Original Nationality. The Yale Law Journal,43,359-392.
Denscombe, M. 2014. The good research guide: for small-scale social research projects, McGraw-Hill Education (UK).
Duchâtel, M. 2012. Overseas citizen protection: a growing challenge for China [Online]. Available: Overseas citizen protection: a growing challenge for China [Accessed September 6 2017].
Evans, B. F. 1931. Protection of American lives and property abroad. Washington, DC: CQ Press.
Moraru, M. B. 2011. Protection of EU citizens abroad: A legal assessment of the EU citizen’s right to consular and diplomatic protection. Rethinking (EU) citizenship,67.
Sen, B. 1965. Diplomatic Protection of Citizens Abroad. In:SEN, B. (ed.) A Diplomat’s Handbook of International Law and Practice.Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
U.S. 2017a. Before Your Trip [Online]. Available: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/know-before-you-go/your-trip [Accessed September 11 2017].
U.S. 2017b. U.S. Code § 1731 - Protection to naturalized citizens abroad.
Vogt, W. P., Gardner, D. C. & Haeffele, L. M. 2012. When to use what research design, Guilford Press.
Wong, C. 2013. Can China Protect Its Citizens Abroad? [Online]. Available: http://thediplomat.com/2013/07/can-china-protect-its-citizens-abroad/ [Accessed September 10 2017].