Covert Participant Observation Previous Page Field Diary

As a (largely) covert observer, Erving Goffman ("Asylums") found he had to trust his powers of observation and memory. Erving Goffman

He used a field diary to record information and, at the end of every day, Goffman wrote-up his observations in this diary.

While this may be one of the few ways available to the covert researcher to record their observations, it does raise clear problems of accuracy, memory and interpretation. This, in turn, must also raise questions about the reliability and validity of covert research.