Out of the four given options being experiment, survey, participant observation, and secondary analysis, the last two options appear likely to be the hardest to duplicate, much more to reproduce. An experiment, being a research method that manipulates variables, is actually a step-by-step process that can apparently be duplicated by following the whole procedure to the letter. Furthermore, an experiment is done under controlled conditions. This only implies that even the methods controlling the factors that can affect the experiment can be copied.
Surveys, on the other hand, whether they are questionnaires or one-on-one interviews, are composed of guide questions that are to be asked of respondents. Thus, if one gets a hold of a research manuscript, that person can easily copy the questions in their particular order and use them for a follow-up study or a new research endeavor altogether, since survey questions employed in research studies are included in the appendices of the manuscripts. The participant observation and secondary analysis methods, however, are more difficult to replicate as they involve issues on objectivity.
In the participant observation method, two researchers’ observations and interpretations of the observations may vary from one another. Thus, the possibility that the two researchers might undergo a similar analysis of data is a long shot. Nevertheless, a secondary analysis of data can be more difficult since in participant observation, the possibility of similarities of observations and interpretations between two researchers may rise depending upon the observable behavior of the respondents.
In secondary analysis, one might experience trouble in interpreting and analyzing existing data, especially if the secondary analyst was not included in the original research endeavor (Heaton, 1998). Moreover, a secondary analysis is actually devised to pursue a different angle from the original research work, not to mention that this approach to research is yet to be perfected (Heaton, 1998). Heaton, J. (1998). Secondary Analysis of Qualitative Data [Electronic Version]. Retrieved May 16, 2007 from sru. soc. surrey. ac. uk.