Overseas Research: A Practical Guide, 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Overseas Research

A Practical Guide, 3rd Edition

By Christopher B. Barrett, Jeffrey Cason, Erin C. Lentz


208 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780367257026
pub: 2020-03-31
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 31st March 2020
Hardback: 9780367256630
pub: 2020-03-31
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 31st March 2020

FREE Standard Shipping!


When researching in developing countries, an ability to negotiate a bewildering array of cultural and logistical obstacles is essential. Overseas Research: A Practical Guide distills essential lessons from scores of students and scholars who have collected data and done fieldwork abroad, including how to prepare for the field, how and where to find funding for one’s fieldwork, issues of personal safety and security, and myriad logistical and relational issues.

By encouraging researchers to think through the challenges of research before they begin it, Overseas Research will help prepare fieldworkers for the practical, logistical, and psychological considerations of very demanding work, help save valuable time, make the most of scarce financial resources, and enhance the quality of the field research. This new third edition contains new material on social media, including representation of research subjects/collaborators, students’ digital branding and image, and representing universities abroad when posting publicly. It also covers emerging technologies such as solar panels for power in remote locations, new ways of digitally sending and receiving money, and incorporates more perspectives of women, LGBTQ+ people, and people of color researching abroad.

The book will be of interest to overseas fieldworkers, and also to undergraduates in subjects such as anthropology, economics, history, international studies, politics, and development studies.

Table of Contents

List of Field Narratives

List of Contributors

Preface and Acknowledgements to the Third Edition

1 Introduction

2 Identifying a Site and Funding Source

Site Selection

Exploratory Research Trips

Language Training

Finding Funding


3 Predeparture Preparations

Money and Travel



Packing: What to Bring, What to Leave

Family Matters

Being LGBTQ+ in the Field

Academic Preparations

Securing Approvals and Research Clearances

4 Setting Up to Live and Work

Becoming Familiar with an Unfamiliar Environment

Money and Housing

Bureaucratic and Legal Matters

With Family in the Field

Issues of Identity in Your Daily Experiences

Relations with Expatriates

Maintaining Your Well-being in the Field

Settling in Academically

5 The Logistics of Fieldwork

Research Equipment


Research Assistants

6 Safety and Security Matters

Personal Safety: The Basics

Less Obvious Safety Strategies


Keeping Research Equipment and Data Safe

7 The Challenges of the Field

Choosing and Cultivating Informants

Cross-Checking Data

Broaching Sensitive Subjects

Recording Interviews

Giving Back and Maintaining Credibility in the Field

8 Knowing When to Go Home

Narrowing the Topic

Clearing the Decks

Packing Up the Data

9 Pulling It All Together: The Postpartum

Organizing Data

Beginning (and Completing) the Writing Process

Culture Shock

10 Epilogue: It’s Never Over

Post-fieldwork Obligations

Post-fieldwork Opportunities

Selected Bibliography

Archival Research

Case Study Research and Comparative Method

Ethnographic Methods and Qualitative Research on Human Subjects

Fieldwork in General


Living Abroad

Quantitative Methods

Research Ethics

Study Abroad

Survey Research



About the Authors

Christopher B. Barrett is the Stephen B. and Janice G. Ashley Professor of Applied Economics and Management, International Professor of Agriculture, and Professor of Economics at Cornell University, USA.

Jeffrey Cason is the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of International Programs, and the Edward C. Knox Professor of International Studies and Politics at Middlebury College, USA.

Erin C. Lentz is Assistant Professor of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, USA.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / International / Economics
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Project Management
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Volunteer Work
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries