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Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review

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The Documentary Research Method – Using Documentary Sources in Social Research

M Mogalakwe

Abstract




Sociologists in particular and social scientists in general tend to quickly
turn to social surveys to collect data for their research projects. This stems from mainstream social science research tradition that is dominated by positivist and empiricist tradition that emphasizes quantification. There is however another method of data collection, the
documentary research method, or the use of documentary sources in social research, that is often overlooked. This paper argues that although the documentary research method is not very popular in social science research, it is nevertheless an acceptable and respectable research method that is also scientific and requires rigorous adherence to research
ethics.

Keywords: authenticity, credibility, data triangulation, document, method triangulation

EASSRR Vol. 25 (1) 2009: pp. 43-58



http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/eas.0.0006
AJOL African Journals Online