Can't get dissertation participants/data? Need help

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Anonymous #1
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I'm doing my dissertation on a pretty unique topic, and there's a lot of secondary data but I was planning on doing a few semi-structured interviews to support my discussion/analysis.

I was in contact with a group of people who said they'd be interested in doing the interviews and dragged along for a month, now I only have a month left and they've decided to bail on me and don't want to do the interviews as they're too busy apparently! I can't really find any more participants because of the specialised topic.

So I'm not really sure what to do now. I was planning on having the data at this point and I have no idea how I can get primary data. The topic isn't suitable for a survey. The only thing I could think of would be putting loads of focus on 'document review' as a case study thing, but I feel like that won't get me a decent grade at all.

I do have a meeting planned with my supervisor next week, but I really want to figure something out as I don't have much time... does anyone have any advice?
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Molseh
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Knowing the topic might help us suggest ideas.
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SarcAndSpark
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Honestly, I think it's best to discuss this with your supervisor- even by email in the first instance. They'll be the one who's marking your work after all.

I do think it will be difficult to set up a new unstructured interview and process the data within a month, even without the difficulty of finding participants.

Are you sure you couldn't use a questionnaire type format? You could use open ended questions to encourage people to share their own thoughts. That's obviously different to an in-person interview, but it would still give you some form of primary data.

Otherwise, can you restructure to produce a "lit review" style dissertation?
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doodle_333
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Speak to your supervisor. If you told us the topic it's possible someone might be able to help you.
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hallamstudents
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I'm doing my dissertation on a pretty unique topic, and there's a lot of secondary data but I was planning on doing a few semi-structured interviews to support my discussion/analysis.

I was in contact with a group of people who said they'd be interested in doing the interviews and dragged along for a month, now I only have a month left and they've decided to bail on me and don't want to do the interviews as they're too busy apparently! I can't really find any more participants because of the specialised topic.

So I'm not really sure what to do now. I was planning on having the data at this point and I have no idea how I can get primary data. The topic isn't suitable for a survey. The only thing I could think of would be putting loads of focus on 'document review' as a case study thing, but I feel like that won't get me a decent grade at all.

I do have a meeting planned with my supervisor next week, but I really want to figure something out as I don't have much time... does anyone have any advice?
Hey could you email your tutor and explain the situation to see if they can give you some advice now?
Sophia
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Molseh)
Knowing the topic might help us suggest ideas.

(Original post by doodle_333)
Speak to your supervisor. If you told us the topic it's possible someone might be able to help you.
(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Honestly, I think it's best to discuss this with your supervisor- even by email in the first instance. They'll be the one who's marking your work after all.

I do think it will be difficult to set up a new unstructured interview and process the data within a month, even without the difficulty of finding participants.

Are you sure you couldn't use a questionnaire type format? You could use open ended questions to encourage people to share their own thoughts. That's obviously different to an in-person interview, but it would still give you some form of primary data.

Otherwise, can you restructure to produce a "lit review" style dissertation?
thanks for the ideas guys i'm going to email my tutor now. the topic is about how policy has influenced the development of a specific type of rail terminal, and how effective are the environmental mitigation measures. the interviews were going to be with a planner and ecologist, i also planned to interview the developers but they declined as they can't do interviews until the development has finished.

so it's essentially a case study of one of the proposed developments, and i'll be using a lot of secondary data in the form of environmental impact assessments and other documents.
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