Personal advertisements are a growing means of meeting other people and establishing relationships. The variety of these advertisements makes them an excellent source of data for social science research, but this interesting resource is presently underutilized. This article attempts to persuade more social scientists to use personal ads as a source of research data and it discusses the positive features of this data source and outlines various research methods possible with them. Existing studies using personal advertisements as a source of data are reviewed as illustrations of the methods presented.
Lynn, M., & Bolig, R. (1985). Personal advertisements: Sources of data about relationships [Electronic version]. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, School of Hospitality Administration site: http://scholarship.sha.cornell.edu/articles/325