This paper sets the context for four papers on multi-method research inpopulation geography. It begins by outlining the various ends to which multi-method research may be employed. The focus then shifts to the broader plane of method, epistemology, and research design. It is argued that epistemological position only determines how methods can be used: it does not preclude the use of particular methods. The possibilities for multi-method research are therefore considerable. Finally, some issues pertaining to multi-method research thathave not yet been resolved are raised for future debate.