Research Methodology & Methods
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Research Methodology & Methods
All things methodological; mainly selected for their value as a teaching resource.
Curated by Dr Derek Jones
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It's the effect size, stupid: what effect size is and why it is important

Does what the title says!
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This paper provides some nice illustrations of what effect size means in practice. It is a shame that it is not presented in a more user friendly way - for people like me who struggle with numbers you really have to stick with it to pick out the nuggets that make the concept come alive - for example what effect size means in the context of being able to see a difference in height or move up an exam grade. So this is the important stuff which deals with the question: yeah we made a difference but how big a difference. If there is not much of a difference you can then ask the question: is it worth it!
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An open letter to The BMJ editors on qualitative research

An open letter to The BMJ editors on qualitative research | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it
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Fascinating debate in the BMJ about the relevance of qualitative research.

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Lives & Legacies

Lives & Legacies | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it
This Guide facilitates effective teaching and learning of Qualitative Interviewing (QI) by demonstrating good examples and instructive mistakes in data collection, examining epistemological issues on reflexivity, and incorporating analytical lenses in data analysis. The appended data set, which contains a total of 39 interview transcripts of Italian, Tamil, Caribbean and Chinese immigrants to Canada, is invaluable for freeing up class time to teaching/learning higher order skills of analysis and critical thinking.
Dr Derek Jones's insight:

This is a good site for taking you through a constructivist approach to qualitative interviewing and the analysis of data with some useful worked examples.

 

A word of warning, this has been developed by the Critical Qualitative Health Research group at Toronto University, a group which takes an anti-post positivist perspective on qualitative research. So when reading this bear in mind what they are proposing is not THE way to do qualitative interviewing but a critical constructivist approach. There is definitely a place for that approach (let a million flowers bloom) but I get a bit irritated by their at times elitist dismissive view of any qualitative approach than their own!

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Stand Up and Be Counted: Why social science should stop using the qualitative/quantitative dichotomy

Stand Up and Be Counted: Why social science should stop using the qualitative/quantitative dichotomy | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it
Qualitative and quantitative research methods have long been asserted as distinctly separate, but to what end? Howard Aldrich argues the simple dichotomy fails to account for the breadth of collect...
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Over recent years I have delivered my opinions to various audiences about simplistic distinctions between qualitative and quantitative research - this piece captures nicely (and much better) some of my issues.

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2(16) HTA | NIHR Journals Library

2(16) HTA | NIHR Journals Library | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it

Qualitative Research in Health Technology Assessment.

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An excellent overview of qualitative methodologies. It also makes a good point re constructivist approaches and limitations in relation to applied research. 

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BMC Medicine STORIES statement: Publication standards for healthcare education evidence synthesis

BMC Medicine STORIES statement: Publication standards for healthcare education evidence synthesis | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it

Evidence synthesis techniques in healthcare education have been enhanced through the activities of experts in the field and the Best Evidence Medical Education (BEME) collaborative. Despite this, significant heterogeneity in techniques and reporting of healthcare education systematic review still exist and limit the usefulness of such reports. The aim of this project was to produce the STORIES (STructured apprOach to the Reporting In healthcare education of Evidence Synthesis) statement to offer a guide for reporting evidence synthesis in health education for use by authors and journal editors.

Dr Derek Jones's insight:

A useful source for anyone undertaking or reviewing a synthesis of evidence around education for health care professionals. This Scoop-it site also contains links to stuff about realist synthesis and keep a look out for reporting standards around meta-ethnography (eMERGe Project at University of Stirling).

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Sample Size Calculator by Raosoft, Inc.

Sample Size Calculator by Raosoft, Inc. | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it
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If statistics are a bit scary for you don't be put off by the text; this calculator helpfully tells you what value to enter if you don't know the answer to a question.

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How to read a paper | The BMJ

How to read a paper | The BMJ | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it
On this page you will find links to articles in the BMJ that explain how to read and interpret different kinds of research papers:
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Useful one-stop shop for links to papers that will assist the critical appraisal of research articles.

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what is an "original contribution"?

what is an "original contribution"? | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it
Many doctoral researchers worry about what ‘original’ in original contribution to knowledge means. They worry  whether their research will be seen as original enough. They worry which of the m...
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Not about methodology; but definitely of value to anyone producing a thesis.

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Glossary of study designs: NICE

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A more extensive list of designs than some other sites. Nice and straightforward.

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A guide to synthesising qualitative research

A guide to synthesising qualitative research | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it
A guide to synthesising qualitative research
Scottish network for the generation and exchange of knowledge in evidence synthesis - Report of scoping meeting
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An good starting point for finding your way round systematic reviews of qualitative research covering the range of approaches and terminology used.

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What is analytic induction? by Professor Martyn Hammersley

What is analytic induction? by Professor Martyn Hammersley | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it
Dr Derek Jones's insight:

In introductory textbooks and modules qualitative research is often presented as being in opposition to the concerns of quantitative research: i.e. unconcerned with causation and generalisation. Whilst this may be true of constuctivist approaches it is not true of all qualitative methodologies. Analytic induction (like classic grounded theory) aims to produce explanations of some phenomena that are generalisable and (as this presentation explains) is interested in causation. 

 

So, if you are looking to produce a counter argument to claims that qualitative work is not interested in generalisation this is a good place to start and is fairly accessible for those without a social science background.

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Rapid review programs to support health care and policy decision making: a descriptive analysis of processes and methods

Rapid review programs to support health care and policy decision making: a descriptive analysis of processes and methods | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it
Health care decision makers often need to make decisions in limited timeframes and cannot await the completion of a full evidence review. Rapid reviews (RRs), utilizing streamlined systematic review methods, are increasingly being used to synthesize the evidence with a shorter turnaround time. Our primary objective was to describe the processes and methods used internationally to produce RRs. In addition, we sought to understand the underlying themes associated with these programs.
Dr Derek Jones's insight:

Worthwhile remembering if you are doing a critical appraisal to look for search for rapid as well as systematic reviews.

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The Guinness Brewer Who Revolutionized Statistics

The Guinness Brewer Who Revolutionized Statistics | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it

The story of how the early 20th Century brewmaster William T. Gosset, the "Student" of the Student's t-test, transformed statistics and manufacturing.

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Fascinating story and a handy reminder of why p values are not the most important thing to focus on
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Home | CQ

Home | CQ | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it

Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research.

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The centre takes an avowedly constructivist approach and the site provides a good insight into that perspective. It also hosts the useful qualitative interviewing on line educational resource (the subject of another scoop on this site). Bear in mind other approaches to qualitative research are available.

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Sample Size in Qualitative Interview Studies

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This piece proposes the concept of 'information power' as an alternative to 'saturation'. Not read it yet but in my experience the concept of saturation is much used but little understood so even if it provokes a requirement to justify one strategy over another that is probably a good thing.

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Research Methods

Research Methods | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it
1. Research Methods Appropriate To Public Health Practice, Including Epidemiology, Statistical Methods And Other Methods Of Enquiry Including Qualitative Research Methods.
Dr Derek Jones's insight:

I have had a quick look at the qualitative chapter  and noted the lack of endorsement of relativism - so worth a look from that point alone! Certainly worth a look at the other chapters.

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Liberating the literature: A critique of the Cochrane Collaboration

Liberating the literature: A critique of the Cochrane Collaboration | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it
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An interesting blog from the Trip people, and a useful source if you are looking to support an argument that systematic reviews ('the gold standard' - with Cochrane Reviews being very shiny gold) are not without their problems.
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David James: How to get clear about method, methodology, epistemology and ontology, once and for all

This talk was given at the ESRC First Year Student Conference, City Hall Cardiff on 29 January 2015.
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Useful coverage of some basic issues that you need to be clear about early on in your research.

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PubMed Health Expands to Research on Research Methods - Blog - National Library of Medicine - PubMed Health

PubMed Health Expands to Research on Research Methods - Blog - National Library of Medicine - PubMed Health | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it
What’s research on research methods, you might ask, and what’s it doing at PubMed Health?
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There's a whole host of stuff available via this web-page - an early Christmas present for methodology geeks.

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The knowledge system underpinning healthcare is not fit for purpose and must change

The knowledge system underpinning healthcare is not fit for purpose and must change | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it
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Students are often taught that in relation to evidence based practice the systematic review is at the top of the pyramid. This often gets translated into assignments as statements claiming such and such is supported by a systematic review therefore there is strong evidence for it. Well that is a good start but (as this piece highlights) systematic reviews also need to be good systematic reviews and risk of bias applies in all forms of research.

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Seminar Series - Prof. Jane Noyes: CerQual – new approach to qualitative evidence syntheses analysis

Originally Recorded: 23rd October 2013 Full Title: CerQual – developing a new approach to determine the certainty of findings from qualitative evidence synth...
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Very valuable insight into some issues around the synthesis of qualitative evidence (and its contribution to Cochrane reviews).

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Department of Social Policy and Intervention Centre: Research designs

Department of Social Policy and Intervention Centre: Research designs | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it
The Department of Social Policy and Intervention is an inter-disciplinary social science institution carrying out teaching and research at the University of Oxford.
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Nice simple descriptions of research designs - unfortunately not all of the designs you may come across as reported in papers. The NICE glossary (also scooped) is more extensive.

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NCRM Podcasts: How Many Interviews is enough?

NCRM Podcasts: How Many Interviews is enough? | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it
Dr Derek Jones's insight:

Elsewhere on this site is a link to the NCRM working paper that tackles this issue - here is a 10 minute podcast on the topic for when you don't feel like reading. Accessing the original document is a good idea if you are engaged in a critical appraisal of qualitative research.

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SRME Home

SRME Home | Research Methodology & Methods | Scoop.it
Statistical regression methods in Education research and the social sciences. A teaching resource for quantitative research methods using SPSS.
Dr Derek Jones's insight:

This 5 module learning resource looks well worth a visit. I have not been through it in detail yet but it looks well suited to the 'statistically challenged'. Although the examples are drawn from education the principles can easily be transferred to health and social care interventions where contexts and interventions complex and psycho-social variables important.

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