Social scientists have long relied on a wide range of tools to collect information about the social world, but as individual fields have become more specialized, researchers are trained to use a narrow range of the possible data collection methods. This book draws on a broad range of available social data collection methods to formulate a new set of data collection approaches. The new approaches described here are ideal for social science researchers who plan to collect new data about people, organizations, or social processes. Axinn and Pearce present methods designed to create a comprehensive empirical description of the subject being studied, with an emphasis on accumulating the information needed to understand what causes what with a minimum of error. In addition to providing methodological motivation and underlying principles, the book is filled with detailed instructions and concrete examples for those who wish to apply the methods to their research.