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  • SN-0060 Capturing Field Research Data

This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.

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Narrative Title

Collection Date: 2009-02-15
Scholar #1 Info: n/a (This entry is based on a conversation had among several folklorists.)

  • Name:
  • Email:
  • Title:
  • Institution/Organization: University of Louisiana, Ohio State University
  • Field of Study/Creative Endeavor: folklore studies

Collector Info (can be the same as "Scholar" above):

  • Name: John Laudun
  • Email:
  • Title: Assistant Professor
  • Institution/Organization: University of Louisiana

Notes on Methodology:

Please briefly describe the collection methods used (eg. "self report", "questionnaire", "ethnographic interview")
Combination of self report and interview. (What doe "ethnographic" mean here?)


The scope section is provided by the collector, with input from the scholar(s), and attempts to estimate the scope of the group that performs the processes described: How broadly do the practices described in this narrative apply to others in same field, in related fields, etc?

These particular issue/need, or set of issues/needs, applies to all fieldwork-oriented/based folklorists and also to those across the humanities-human sciences divide: cultural anthropologists and sociologists.

  1. In the opinion of the scholar, who participates in the process the story describes?


  1. What is this process intended to accomplish for the scholar?

To automate/normalize the capturing of fieldwork data so that it happens quickly and with a greater sense that one's data can be shared easily.

  1. Who is the intended audience of the processes described?

Other field researchers.

  1. Is this the only process the scholar uses to accomplish his/her goals?
  2. What "shared services" would help transform the story into something of more benefit for the scholar or his/her audience?  What process or processes in the story could be automated?


Please provide some keywords that will allow us to group or cluster related stories--or aspects of stories.

1. Was this story collected for a particular Bamboo working group?  If so, please include, as keywords, the appropriate group(s).

  • Scholarly Narratives
  • Tools and Content Partners

2. Suggested keywords: Does this narrative contain elements that could be mapped to these keywords?  If so, please indicate which ones and briefly describe the mapping.  Add any additional keywords in #3. (These are global keywords from this page keywords)

3. Please list additional keywords here:


A day spent out doing field research means that a wide variety of notes get taken down in a notebook: some text, some measurements, some drawings. Some highly elliptical forms of the aforementioned meant to provoke later detailed versions. Different kinds of possible recordings are also brought home: audio, images, video. What you want to do is to sit down in front of the computer and begin to capture what happened: who you saw, what you saw, what they said, what you learned, etc. Currently, every field researcher has their own "system": long Word documents, short database entries, local documents, web-based documents. If you're in the field, you have some worries, if your material is saved locally, about its safety given some conditions. But generally, you want this stuff to be protected. It only exists because you have brought it into being. You also, you hope, hope that

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