Combining different methods of data collection in public service interpreting doctoral research: examples from the Spanish context


  • Mireia Vargas-Urpi Universitat Pompeu Fabra


public service interpreting, community interpreting, qualitative research, PhD dissertations, triangulation, multimethod approach


During the past ten years, public service interpreting (PSI) has become a flourishing field of research. Different kinds of studies have explored issues such as the role of public service interpreters, accuracy and deviations in their renditions, or primary participants’ views on and expectations of PSI. In terms of research methods, it is becoming increasingly popular to combine different data collection methods in the field of PSI, especially in large research projects. The aim of this article is to describe how multiple datasets have been used in a sample of studies. It presents a review of PhD dissertations in Spain that have combined different kinds of surveys, focus groups and/or direct observation. This is followed by a description of how a multimethod approach can contribute to the advance of PSI research and how it can compensate for the limitations of certain single-method approaches to PSI. It argues that, while multimethod research may be more demanding and time-consuming from the researcher’s point of view, it is more effective in terms of providing a holistic view of the object of study.