Cases in Online Interview Research: Feb 20 - Mar 3, 2012

E-Interview Examples and Resources

E-Interview Examples and Resources

by Janet Salmons -
Number of replies: 3

Use this thread to share links to your own websites/blogs/posted resources, references to your own work and/or other interesting materials.

In reply to Janet Salmons

Re: E-Interview Examples and Resources

by Janet Salmons -

Here are two studies that might interest you:

  • Barratt, M. J. (2012). The efficacy of interviewing young drug users through online chat. Drug and Alcohol Review, no-no. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-3362.2011.00399.x


Introduction and Aims.Despite the fact that most young people who use ‘party drugs’ also use the Internet, accounts of drugs research involving qualitative interviewing using real-time instant messaging or online chat are yet to be published. This paper assesses the efficacy of conducting qualitative research interviews with young party drug users through instant messaging.

Design and Methods.In 2007–2008, 837 Australian residents who reported recent use of psychostimulants and/or hallucinogens and participated in online drug discussion completed a web survey and a subsample of 27 completed online interviews (median age 21, range 17–37, 59% male).

Results.Experienced drug users were more likely to volunteer to be interviewed than novices. The time and space flexibility provided by the online interviews was convenient; however, interviews were more prone to interruption. Establishing legitimacy, personal disclosure, appropriate linguistic style and humour facilitated the development of rapport and enabled the production of more detailed and in-depth data. These strategies were not successful in all cases and when unsuccessful, interviewees were more easily able to exit the interview by choosing not to respond.

Discussion and Conclusions.Young drug users already using the Internet to chat about drugs find online interviewing an acceptable and convenient way to contribute to research. With adequate preparation to develop technical and cultural competencies, online interviewing offers an effective way of engaging with young people that is worthy of consideration by researchers in the alcohol and other drug field.[Barratt MJ. The efficacy of interviewing young drug users through online chat. Drug Alcohol Rev 2011]

See Wiley Online Library

  • Zalinger, J. (2012). The Story of Ethnochat: Designing an Instant Messaging Program to Conduct Semi-Structured or Unstructured Interviews. In C. Silva (Ed.), Online Research Methods in Urban and Planning Studies: Design and Outcomes (pp. 86-98). doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-0074-4.ch006

    Here is a link to the book chapter: 


    Instant Messaging (IM) programs are powerful and unique tools for conducting semi-structured or unstructured online interviews. However, many unanswered questions exist surrounding the use of IM interviewing. This design chapter takes a storytelling approach to answer two specific research questions: (1) Do rich data collected via IM stand the test of time? (2) How can an IM program be built designed specifically for researchers? The chapter is organized into three parts. Part one reviews recent, related research. Part two takes a somewhat unusual approach to answer the research question regarding the long-term power of IM data by re-visiting the author’s experience from 2007 using IM to interview female participants about their feelings using online dating sites. Part three is a detailed description of a prototype IM program, Ethnochat. There are many IM clients in existence, but nothing has been made specifically for professional researchers for semi-structured or unstructured interviews. Having the best tool available will help urban planners conduct their research more efficiently and at a significantly reduced cost. 

    Jason Zalinger's site: