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Purpose: The purpose of this article is to explain various research data collection time frames, their merits, and demerits, and most importantly the suitability of each data collection time frame concerning the stage/phase of research to enable Ph.D. scholars in India to understand the key difference between research methodology/design and research data collection time frames, in turn, guiding them to choose an appropriate data collection time frame.
Design/Methodology/Approach: Postmodernism philosophical paradigm; Inductive research approach; Observation data collection method; Longitudinal data collection time frame; Qualitative data analysis.
Findings/Result: As long as the Ph.D. scholars can understand all the available research data collection time frames and make mindful choices of data collection frames at various stages/phases of their research journey to answer their research question they will be able to determine (on their own) all the other choices in succeeding steps of doctoral-level research such as i) sample size; ii) sampling technique; iii) data collection instrument; iv) data analysis techniques. In addition, scholars will also be able to differentiate between research methodology/design and research data collection frames.
Originality/Value: There are a vast literature about each one of the research data collection time frames viz., Cross-Sectional, and Longitudinal (Panel; Cohort; Retrospective) time frames. However, only a few have explained them together comprehensively. In this article, we have attempted to capture most of the research data collection time frames briefly that would enable Ph.D. scholars in India to glance through and make scholarly data collection time frame choices.
Paper Type: Conceptual.