Online data collection in academic research might be replacing paper-and-pencil surveys or questionnaires in the near future. This paper discusses the advantages and limitations of online data collection, with particular reference to the conduct of two qualitative studies involving upper secondary school teachers and students in Iceland in 2002. Email was used for contacting the participants to ask them to visit a designated website in order to complete the questionnaire. Some problems arose with the use of an online web-based programme for data collection. Among them were the unreliability of the email address lists and the lack of willingness, particularly among students, to participate. The paper concludes that while online surveys can access large and geographically distributed populations and achieve quick returns, they may no longer be as universally appealing as was once believed. Reaching the population sample remains a problem in online as well as in traditional data collection.