I have recently conducted a set of qualitative interviews with a particular group. Their interviews yielded interesting info about a certain phenomenon. However, based on the information gathered from the first group of interviewees, it led me to a different type group whom I also conducted interviews with in order to explain/expand the first group's perspectives.

So it was a sequential process that I couldn't have planned beforehand without coming across the info gathered from the first group.

When parsing this information in a research manuscript (under methodology section), is it perfectly okay to explain the process of how I did or is there a set of framework out there that explains what I just did?


In general you do not have to disclose the exact order or reason for data collection. Most papers are ‘narratives’ written with the available totality of data at this point. Constructs such as ‘because we found xyz we then tested if abc...’ don’t necessarily describe the actual order of events.

The only times where this is truly relevant is when you run statistical tests. For example, if you collected data from the first group and analysis made you collect a larger dataset that now jointly gets analyzed, this has to be stated and included in the statistical analysis.


As @MarioNiepel says, it's not necessary. But it might be interesting for your readers to see a little bit of the the serendipity that sometimes goes into research. It helps to know that the formal structure of a manuscript does not reflect the process that led to a successful conclusion.

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