Archive for May, 2007
I’ve spent the past two days doing a lot of work for the dissertation, so please excuse my lack of posting for the last few days. I’ve got a lot to update you on, but I’ll start with getting my pre-interview survey online. While most of my data will consist of the interviews, I figured that a short survey could be used to capture some of the basic info that I needed about my subjects. These are all questions that I would ask anyways. This way, we can spend more of the interview time on the really interesting substantive topics. Also, this gives me a chance to get to know the subjects a little more and will provide me with some more information to ask questions about.
So yesterday, I stopped in the UCSB Social Science Survey Research Center to find out how to get my survey up and running on the internets. Well it turns out that even though I am a student, and the UCSB Survey Research center advertises that for students the service is available at a low cost or free, that to get my survey of 20 something questions that would be taken by no more than 50 people, it would cost me somewhere in the range of 150-200 bucks. I said, “thanks for your time,” and left. Now it’s not necessarily the center’s fault for having to charge grad students. Rather, when they came up with the idea of the center, the vision was a place that could bring in funding since they had all this technology to help whoever needed a survey put online. The way I understand it, that vision hasn’t come to be, and they are in the midst of revamping the thing to make it more accessible to students. To the director’s credit, he offered me several ways in which I might get the sociology department or UCSB to fund the thing, but given my timeline and the bureaucratic hoops that I would have to jump through, I figured that it would be more practical to just figure it out on my own.
As I alluded to in the previous post, the latest bulletin board posting blitz has been quite successful so far. I’ve gotten at least a dozen people to email me back and we are on our way to getting an honest to goodness interview schedule going. Additionally, most of the people have been good about forwarding my request for interviewees to other people and to other mailing lists. In fact, the nice folks at Baseball Think Factory put up the announcement in one of their news blogs! BTW, if you click on over you will find an amusing exchange in the comments section. As if getting interview subjects wasn’t enough, most of the people have had kind words of encouragement for my research. They’ve also directed me to a lot of good advice about conducting my research and resources that will be helpful in my research, i.e. the previous post on the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective was a result of one of these people sending me the link thinking it would be helpful. It’s been a bit humbling actually. I mean, I’m feel pretty knowledgeable about Sabermetrics, but I think pedagogically, we as researchers, often forget that we don’t nearly as much about the things we are studying, as the actual people we are studying. I must say, I’m very encouraged by all of this. Like most grad students, I’m a bit jaded and cynical about the nature of humans, but the response that I have gotten makes me hopeful that it is worthwhile to study other human beings.
Anyways, now I need to get to the business of getting things shored up for all of these interviews coming up this summer. So, without further ado, here is to do list #2.
Let me first say that my latest cattle call for interview subjects has been an overwhelming success, which I will write about later. One of the people who responded directed me to the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective website. Per the website:
This existence of this organization has many implications for my research and I thought that I’d just ruminate about them here.
If you look at the left sidebar and scroll down to below the archives, you’ll see that I’ve copyrighted this blog and all the documents linked to it under a Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works Creative Commons License. What that means is that you are free to use the content of this blog, as long as you attribute the work to me, do not use for commercial purposes and do not change it in any way. On the surface, I feel like this is a small thing, but as someone who is publishing his academic research while it is being done, I think there are some real issues to go over here.
Finding people to interview is proving a bit more difficult that I had anticipated. Mostly because, I’m in cold calling mode where I just email people that I know and ask them if they want to be interviewed and then ask them if they know anyone who might be interested in interviewing. I have about five interviews scheduled. The problem is that most of the people that I have scheduled are part of the key informants group. Most of the interviews that I want to do will be the rank and file sabermetricians, people who do not do sabermetrics for a living. I have two interviews scheduled. I don’t think I can reveal their names as I’m pretty sure that violates the confidentiality part of the human subjects research protocol described in the last post.