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Research Methodology and Project Proposal Preparation


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Title: Research Methodology and Project Proposal Preparation

Research Methodology and Project Proposal
Master of System Engineering Faculty of
Engineering Gadjah Mada University
Adhy Kurniawan Faculty of Engineering Gadjah Mada
Adhy Kurniawan
  • 1987-1990 SMA 3 Semarang
  • 1990-1991 Fac. Of Economy, Diponegoro
    University, Semarang
  • S1(1991-1996) Civil Engineering Dept. Gadjah
    Mada Univ.
  • S3(1998-2003) Swiss Federal Institute of
    Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Swiss
  • Post Doct (nov.2005-sept.2006) Kyoto University,

My Goals for Course
  • That each of you develop an intuition for the
    fundamental principles of research methodology
  • That we have an enjoyable semester learning

Lecture and Homework
  • Lecture
  • Presentation and discussion
  • Homework
  • Your chance to practice using the concepts
    presented in class
  • Teamwork vs. Individual work?

  • All of literature concerning Res Met
  • Marczyk, DeMatteo, Festinger. 2005, Essentials
    of Research Design and Methodology, John Wiley
    and Sons.
  • Day and Gastel, 2006, How to write and Publish a
    Scientific Report, Greenwood Press
  • Metodologi Riset, Etc.

List of students
  • Alif Ardy Saputra, Geodesi UGM
  • Anik FR, TL, ITB
  • Ashri Uswatun, TFisika,UGM
  • Ayi Fajarwati, TL, ITB
  • Corry Agustina, Perenc Wil, TA, UGM
  • Dwi Astuti, TKimia, UGM
  • Elva Nur , TF, UGM
  • Erika Kezia, TL, ITB
  • Fitri Wijayanti, Fisika, UNS
  • I Nyoman Kusuma, TF, UGM
  • Ihsan Hasan, T Industri, UII,
  • Ihwan Ghazali, T Industri, UAD
  • Iin Lestari, TL, ITB
  • M Sony Abertiawan, TL, ITB
  • Maria Auliana, T Sipil, UGM
  • Norma Pradipta, TArsitektur, UGM
  • Satrya Alrizki, TGeofisik, ITB
  • Tatag Lindu Bhakti, TFisika, UGM

  • The aims of research,
  • the research topic,
  • title and research problem,
  • literature review,
  • research design population and sampling types,
    types of quantitative research designs, validity
    of conclusions, data-collecting methods and
    measuring instruments in quantitative research,
    qualitative research designs,
  • data analysis and interpretation of results,
  • report writing and the research proposal,
  • ethical consideration on research.

  • science can be defined as a methodological and
    systematic approach to the acquisition of new
  • This definition of science highlights some of the
    key differences between how scientists and
    nonscientists go about acquiring new knowledge.
  • Specifically, rather than relying on mere casual
    observations and an informal approach to learn
  • about the world, scientists attempt to gain new
    knowledge by making careful observations and
    using systematic, controlled, and methodical
    approaches (Shaughnessy Zechmeister, 1997).

Shaughnessy, J. J., Zechmeister, E. B. (1997).
Research methods in psychology (4th ed.). Boston
McGraw Hill.
  • In addition, scientific knowledge is not based on
    the opinions, feelings, or intuition of the
  • Instead, scientific knowledge is based on
    objective data that were reliably obtained in the
    context of a carefully designed research study.
  • In short, scientific knowledge is based on the
    accumulation of empirical evidence (Kazdin,

Kazdin, A. E. (2003a). Methodology What it is
and why it is so important. In A. E. Kazdin (
Ed.), Methodological issues and strategies in
clinical research (3rd ed., pp. 522).
Washington, DC American Psychological
  • The defining characteristic of scientific
    research is the scientific method .
  • First described by the English philosopher and
    scientist Roger Bacon in the 13th century, it is
    still generally agreed that the scientific method
    is the basis for all scientific investigation.
  • The scientific method is best thought of as an
    approach to the acquisition of new knowledge, and
    this approach effectively distinguishes science
    from nonscience.

The Scientific Method
The development of the scientific method is
usually credited to Roger Bacon, a philosopher
and scientist from 13th-century England, although
some argue that the Italian scientist Galileo
Galilei played an important role in formulating
the scientific method. Later contributions to
the scientific method were made by the
philosophers Francis Bacon and René Descartes.
  • Although some disagreement exists regarding the
    exact characteristics of the scientific method,
    most agree that it is characterized by the
    following elements
  • Empirical approach
  • Observations
  • Questions
  • Hypotheses
  • Experiments
  • Analyses
  • Conclusions
  • Replication

Empirical Approach
  • The scientific method is firmly based on the
    empirical approach. The empirical approach is an
    evidence-based approach that relies on direct
    observation and experimentation in the
    acquisition of new knowledge (see Kazdin, 2003a).
  • In the empirical approach, scientific decisions
    are made based on the data derived from direct
    observation and experimentation.
  • Contrast this approach to decision making with
    the way that most nonscientific decisions are
    made in our daily lives.
  • For example, we have all made decisions based on
    feelings, hunches, or gut instinct.
    Additionally, we may often reach conclusions or
    make decisions that are not necessarily based on
    data, but rather on opinions, speculation, and a
    hope for the best.
  • The empirical approach, with its emphasis on
    direct, systematic, and careful observation, is
    best thought of as the guiding principle behind
    all research conducted in accordance with the
    scientific method.

  • An important component in any scientific
    investigation is observation. In this sense,
    observation refers to two distinct conceptsbeing
    aware of the world around us and making careful
  • Observations of the world around us often give
    rise to the questions that are addressed through
    scientific research.
  • For example, the Newtonian observation that
    apples fall from trees stimulated much research
    into the effects of gravity. Therefore, a keen
    eye to your surroundings can often provide you
    with many ideas for research studies.

  • After getting a research idea, perhaps from
    making observations of the world around us, the
    next step in the research process involves
    translating that research idea into an answerable
  • The term answerable is particularly important
    in this respect, and it should not be overlooked.
  • It would obviously be a frustrating and
    ultimately unrewarding endeavor to attempt to
    answer an unanswerable research question through
    scientific investigation.
  • It is therefore important to formulate a research
    question that can be answered through available
    scientific methods and procedures.

  • The next step in the scientific method is coming
    up with a hypothesis, which is simply an
    educatedand testableguess about the answer to
    your research question.
  • A hypothesis is often described as an attempt by
    the researcher to explain the phenomenon of
  • Hypotheses can take various forms, depending on
    the question being asked and the type of study
    being conducted.
  • A key feature of all hypotheses is that each must
    make a prediction.
  • Remember that hypotheses are the researchers
    attempt to explain the phenomenon being studied,
    and that explanation should involve a prediction
    about the variables being studied.
  • These predictions are then tested by gathering
    and analyzing data, and the hypotheses can either
    be supported or refuted on the basis of the data.

  • Two types of hypotheses with which you should be
    familiar are
  • the null hypothesis
  • and the alternate (or experimental) hypothesis.
  • The null hypothesis always predicts that there
    will be no differences between the groups being
  • By contrast, the alternate hypothesis predicts
    that there will be a difference between the
  • For example,
  • the null hypothesis would predict that the
    exercise group and the no-exercise group will not
    differ significantly on levels of cholesterol.
  • The alternate hypothesis would predict that the
    two groups will differ significantly on
    cholesterol levels.
  • Homework Individual
  • Please try to find one example. About the null
    hypotheses and alternate hypotheses.

  • After articulating the hypothesis, the next step
    involves actually conducting the experiment (or
    research study).
  • For example, if the study involves investigating
    the effects of exercise on levels of cholesterol,
    the researcher would design and conduct a study
    that would attempt to address that question.
  • As previously mentioned, a key aspect of
    conducting a research study is measuring the
    phenomenon of interest in an accurate and
    reliable manner.
  • In this example, the researcher would collect
    data on the cholesterol levels of the study
    participants by using an accurate and reliable
    measurement device.
  • Then, the researcher would compare the
    cholesterol levels of the two groups to see if
    exercise had any effects.

Accuracy vs. Reliability
  • When talking about measurement in the context of
    research, there is an important distinction
    between being accurate and being reliable.
  • Accuracy refers to whether the measurement is
    correct, whereas reliability refers to whether
    the measurement is consistent.
  • An example may help to clarify the distinction.
  • When throwing darts at a dart board, accuracy
    refers to whether the darts are hitting the
    bulls eye (an accurate dart thrower will throw
    darts that hit the bulls eye).
  • Reliability, on the other hand, refers to
    whether the darts are hitting the same spot (a
    reliable dart thrower will throw darts that hit
    the same spot).
  • Therefore, an accurate and reliable dart thrower
    will consistently throw the darts in the bulls
    eye. As may be evident, however, it is possible
    for the dart thrower to be reliable, but not
  • For example, the dart thrower may throw all of
    the darts in the same spot (which demonstrates
    high reliability), but that spot may not be the
    bulls eye (which demonstrates low accuracy).

  • After conducting the study and gathering the
    data, the next step involves analyzing the data,
    which generally calls for the use of statistical
  • The type of statistical techniques used by a
    researcher depends on the design of the study,
    the type of data being gathered, and the
    questions being asked.
  • It is important to be aware of the role of
    statistics in conducting a research study.
  • In short, statistics help researchers minimize
    the likelihood of reaching an erroneous
    conclusion about the relationship between the
    variables being studied.

  • After analyzing the data and determining whether
    to reject the null hypothesis, the researcher is
    now in a position to draw some conclusions about
    the results of the study.
  • For example, if the researcher rejected the null
    hypothesis, the researcher can conclude that the
    phenomenon being studied had an effecta
    statistically significant effect, to be more
  • If the researcher rejects the null hypothesis in
    our exercise-cholesterol example, the researcher
    is concluding that exercise had an effect on
    levels of cholesterol.

  • It is important that researchers make only those
    conclusions that can be supported by the data
  • Going beyond the data is a cardinal sin that
    researchers must be careful to avoid.

  • One of the most important elements of the
    scientific method is replication.
  • Replication essentially means conducting the same
    research study a second time with another group
    of participants to see whether the same results
    are obtained.
  • The same researcher may attempt to replicate
    previously obtained results, or perhaps other
    researchers may undertake that task.

  • Replication illustrates an important point about
    scientific researchnamely, that researchers
    should avoid drawing broad conclusions based on
    the results of a single research study because it
    is always possible that the results of that
    particular study were an aberration.
  • In other words, it is possible that the results
    of the research study were obtained by chance or
    error and, therefore, that the results may not
    accurately represent the actual state of things.
  • However, if the results of a research study are
    obtained a second time (i.e., replicated), the
    likelihood that the original studys findings
    were obtained by chance or error is greatly

  • What are the three general goals of scientific

  • description,
  • prediction,
  • and understanding/explaining

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What Exactly is Research?
  • we will focus on two of the most common types of
  • correlational research
  • and experimental research

Correlational research
  • In correlational research, the goal is to
    determine whether two or more variables are
    related. (By the way, variables is a term with
    which you should be familiar.
  • A variable is anything that can take on different
    values, such as weight, time, and height.)
  • For example, a researcher may be interested in
    determining whether age is related to weight. In
    this example, a researcher may discover that age
    is indeed related to weight because as age
    increases, weight also increases. If a
    correlation between two variables is strong
    enough, knowing about one variable allows a
    researcher to make a prediction about the other
  • It is important to point out, however, that a
  • or relationshipbetween two things does not
    necessarily mean that one thing caused the
    other.To draw a cause-and-effect conclusion,
  • researchers must use experimental research.
  • .

Experimental research
  • In its simplest form, experimental research
    involves comparing two groups on one outcome
    measure to test some hypothesis regarding
  • For example, if a researcher is interested in the
    effects of a new medication on headaches, the
    researcher would randomly divide a group of
    people with headaches into two groups.
  • One of the groups, the experimental group, would
    receive the new medication being tested.
  • The other group, the control group, would receive
    a placebo medication (i.e., a medication
    containing a harmless substance, such as sugar,
    that has no physiological effects).

Experimental research
  • Besides receiving the different medications, the
    groups would be treated exactly the same so that
    the research could isolate the effects of the
    medications. After receiving the medications,
    both groups would be compared to see whether
    people in the experimental group had fewer
    headaches than people in the control
  • group.
  • Assuming this study was properly designed (and
    properly designed studies will be discussed in
    detail in later chapters), if people in the
    experimental group had fewer headaches than
    people in the control group, the researcher could
    conclude that the new medication reduces

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  • Compose your own brief research proposal.
  • Try to determine your research topic for MST
    final project
  • Format
  • 1. In MS Word
  • 2. In Power point

Task/assignment ? next week
  • Review 1 International Publication (Journal,
    Conference paper,etc) related to Renewable energy
  • Compose the summarize of your review
  • Format
  • 1. In MS Word
  • 2. In Power point

Purpose of the research proposal
  • 1. To inform the reader of nature of your
    proposed research.
  • What is the problem?
  • What is its extent?
  • 2. To convince the reader, especially supervisors
    and reviewers, of the value of your proposed
  • Is this project worth the time
  • and money?
  • Will it make a difference to the
  • world?

Purpose of the research proposal
  • 3. To demonstrate your expertise and competency
    in a particular area of study.
  • Do you have the qualifications to conduct this
  • Have you informed yourself of the existing theory
    and data relevant to your topic?
  • Do you have the
  • necessary skills to
  • conduct the research?

Purpose of the research proposal
  • 4. To plan the research project and provide a
    step-by-step guide to the tasks necessary for its
  • What are the key stages of the work?
  • What are the priorities?
  • How do the various components fit together?
  • 5. To request support from individuals and
    agencies who provide supervision, oversight or
    funding for the research project.
  • What kinds of support does the project need?
  • Are all participants properly protected?

Purpose of the research proposal
  • 6. To contract with the agencies and individuals
    involved, including supervisors, foundations and
    participants in the research team.
  • How will tasks be assigned and resources
  • What does each contribute
  • to the collective endeavor?

First things first
  1. Basics
  2. Topic ideas
  3. Typical methodologies
  4. Common pitfalls
  5. Getting started and putting it all together
  6. Questions/discussion

Basic steps of a research project
  • Find a topic?What, When
  • Formulate questions?What, Why
  • Define population?Who, When
  • Select design measurement?How
  • Gather evidence?How
  • Interpret evidence?Why
  • Tell about what you did and found out

Selecting a Research Topic
  • What are some considerations when selecting a
    research topic?

Considerations in Selecting a Topic
  • Personal interest / Passion
  • Importance / Contribution to the field
  • Newness / Relevance
  • Feasibility
  • Tradeoff between rigor and practicality
  • Time constraints
  • Ethical constraints
  • Organizational support
  • Economic factors
  • Availability of Subjects

Sources of Research Topics
  • Peer-reviewed journals in your field
  • Personal experiences
  • Work setting experiences
  • Existing literature
  • Recommendations for future research

Refining Your Topic
  • Refinement needed for effective and efficient
  • Narrow your topic
  • Identify a theoretical framework
  • Specifically and unambiguously define terms
  • State research questions and hypotheses

Refining Your Topic (contd)
  • A literature review will help you
  • See if your idea has been tried
  • Include all relevant constructs
  • Select instruments
  • Anticipate common problems

Components of a Concept Paper
  • Title page
  • Introduction
  • Nature of the Problem
  • Background and Significance of the Problem
  • Preliminary Literature Review
  • Initial Research Question or Questions

Components of a Concept Paper (contd)
  • Brief Description of Methodology and Research
  • Anticipated Outcomes
  • Timeline
  • References

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The Literature Review

What is a Literature Review?
  • According to Creswell (2005), a review of the
    literature is a written summary of journal
    articles, books and other documents that
    describes the past and current state of
    information, organizes the literature into topics
    and documents a need for a proposed study. (pp.

Creswell, J.W. (2005) Educational Research
Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative
and Qualitative Research
Focusing on Empirical Research
  • What does Empirical Mean?
  • Primary Sources
  • Original Research Article
  • Secondary Sources
  • Newspapers
  • Book chapters
  • Television/Radio
  • Magazines
  • Wikepedia

Empirical Research
  • All empirical research is inherently flawed
  • Limitations
  • Sampling
  • Generalizability
  • Representative
  • Measurement
  • Measurement Error
  • Social Desirability
  • Problem Identification
  • Grasping the Whole Problem

Literature Reviews
  • Well-written analytical narrative that brings a
    reader up-to-date on what is known on a given
    topic, but also provide fresh insights that
    advance knowledge
  • Resolve conflicts between studies
  • Identify new ways to interpret research results
  • Creating a path for future research

Anecdotal Reports
  • A description of an event or experience that
    happened to be noticed
  • No control
  • No comparison

Review of Key Elements of Previous Definition
  • The LR is a summary of research
  • It is not a list of found research but a
    coherent and articulate account of past and
    current research findings
  • Suggestion read 2 or 3 LRs in order to become
    familiar with summary styles

Review of Key Elements of Previous Definition
  • The sources typically are journal articles, books
    and other documents that describe past and
    present status of research in a given field
  • The LR should be exhaustive and as current as
  • How many articles?
  • There is no set number. As long as the search is
    exhaustive and focused on the research topic, the
    review will be acceptable.

Review of Key Elements of Previous Definition
  • How far back should one search?
  • A reasonable and widely accepted timeframe
    includes research conducted during the past 10
    years. Important studies (i.e., studies that had
    a significant impact on the field of study)
    should also be mentioned even if these go beyond
    the mentioned timeframe.

Review of Key Elements of Previous Definition
  • The LR should be organized
  • The review should not only be coherent, but
    should organize the studies reviewed under themes
    or topics.
  • The reviewer is a guide and should be able to
    provide readers with an in-depth and current
    status of research in a given area.
  • This aspect is essential for readers to
    understand what the reviewer found during the

Review of Key Elements of Previous Definition
  • The LR should document the need for a proposed
  • Studies should not duplicate research that has
    been already done.
  • Even in cases when research is duplicated
    (replicated is the appropriate term), one is
    responsible for documenting the need for
    replication, e.g., need to explore the same
    methodology with a different group or population,
    or need to change methodology with the same group.

Creswells 5 steps to Conduct a Literature Review
  • Step 1 Identify Key Terms or Descriptors
  • Extract key words from your title (remember, you
    may decide to change the title later)
  • Use some of the words other authors reported in
    the literature

Creswell, J.W. (2005) Educational Research
Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative
and Qualitative Research
Step 1 Identify Key Terms or Descriptors
  • Use the Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors to look
    for terms that match your topic go to and in Search select
    Descriptors (from Thesaurus)
  • Scan both electronic and library journals from
    the past 10 years and look for key terms in the

Creswell, J.W. (2005) Educational Research
Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative
and Qualitative Research
Creswells 5 steps to Conduct a Literature Review
  • Step 2 Locate Literature
  • Use academic libraries, do not limit your search
    to an electronic search of articles
  • Use primary and secondary sources. A primary
    source is research reported by the researcher
    that conducted the study. A secondary source is
    research that summarizes or reports findings that
    come from primary sources

Creswell, J.W. (2005) Educational Research
Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative
and Qualitative Research
Step 2 Locate Literature (contd)
  • It is best to report mostly primary sources (p.
  • Search different types of literature summaries,
    encyclopedias, dictionaries and glossaries of
    terms, handbooks, statistical indexes, reviews
    and syntheses, books, journals, indexed
    publications, electronic sources, abstract
    series, and databases

Creswell, J.W. (2005) Educational Research
Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative
and Qualitative Research
Creswells 5 steps to Conduct a Literature Review
  • Step 3 Critically Evaluate and Select Literature
  • Rely on journal articles published in national
  • Prioritize your search first look for refereed
    journal articles, then, non-refereed articles,
    then books, then conference papers, dissertations
    and theses and then papers posted to websites

Creswell, J.W. (2005) Educational Research
Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative
and Qualitative Research
Step 3 Critically Evaluate and Select Literature
  • Look for research articles and avoid as much as
    possible opinion pieces
  • Blend qualitative and quantitative research in
    your review

Creswell, J.W. (2005) Educational Research
Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative
and Qualitative Research
Creswells 5 steps to Conduct a Literature Review
  • Step 4 Organize the Literature
  • Create a file or abstract system to keep
    track of what you read. Each article you read
    should be summarized in one page containing
  • Title (use APA to type the title so that you can
    later copy-paste this into the References section
    of your paper)
  • Source journal article, book, glossary, etc.

Creswell, J.W. (2005) Educational Research
Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative
and Qualitative Research
Step 4 Organize the Literature (contd)
  • Research problem one or two lines will suffice
  • Research Questions or Hypotheses
  • Data collection procedure (a description of
    sample characteristics can be very handy as well)
  • Results or findings of the study
  • Sort these abstracts into groups of related
    topics or areas which can then become the
    different sections of your review

Creswell, J.W. (2005) Educational Research
Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative
and Qualitative Research
Creswells 5 steps to Conduct a Literature Review
  • Step 5 Write a Literature Review
  • Types of Reviews
  • Thematic Review a theme is identified and
    studies found under this theme are described.
    Major ideas and findings are reported rather than

Creswell, J.W. (2005) Educational Research
Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative
and Qualitative Research
Step 5 Write a Literature Review (contd)
  • Study-by-study Review a detailed summary of each
    study under a broad theme is provided. Link
    summaries (or abstracts) using transitional
    sentences. Must be organized and flow coherently
    under various subheadings. Avoid string
    quotations (i.e., lengthy chunks of text directly
    quoted from a source)

Creswell, J.W. (2005) Educational Research
Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative
and Qualitative Research
Preliminary Literature Review
  • This succinct review of current literature
  • Provide further contextual background
  • Reveal issues related to your study
  • Describe similar problems in other organizations
  • Provide significance to your approach to the

Guidelines on Style, Mechanics, and Language Usage
  • Does your draft follow the logic or idea that is
    presented in your intro and title?
  • Avoid overusing direct quotations, especially
    long ones
  • Check style manual for correct use of citations
  • (Doe, 2005) Doe (2005) (Doe Smith, 2005) Doe
    and Smith (2005) (Black, 2005 Brown, 2006
    Yellow, 2007)

Guidelines on Style, Mechanics, and Language Usage
  • Avoid using synonyms for recurring words
  • This is not creative writing and stay consistent
    with terminology
  • Group I, Phoenix Cohort, Experimental Group
  • Spell out all acronyms when first using them
  • Traditional - American Psychological Association
  • Non-traditional - Collective Efficacy (CE)
  • Yes - Do NOT use contractions No Dont use
  • Coined terms should be set off by quotes

Guidelines on Style, Mechanics, and Language Usage
  • Avoid the following
  • Slang cool
  • Colloquialisms thing gtgt item or feature
  • Idioms rise to the pinnacle gtgt to become
  • Use great care to avoid Plagiarism

What needs to be included in the Literature
  • Provides contextual background
  • Reveals related issues
  • Reviews similar problems elsewhere
  • Provides significance to your approach to the
  • Includes major/seminar research articles
    pertaining to study
  • Written in an integrated manner
  • Uses peer-reviewed research
  • Includes a Reference section

Writing Your Research Question(s)
  • Reflect the problem that the researcher wants to
  • Can be formulated based on theories, past
    research, previous experience, or the practical
    need to make data-driven decisions in a work

Writing Your Research Question(s) (contd)
  • Are vitally important because they, in large
    part, dictate what type of statistical analysis
    is needed, as well as what type of research
    design may be employed
  • A research question should address only 1 concept
  • Question must be measurable

Types of Questions Asked
  • Once you have identified the topic of study, you
    will need to consider the type of question you
    want answered and how it will be answered
  • Two paradigms
  • Quantitative Paradigm
  • Generally attempt to quantify variables of
    interest. Questions frequently address how well
    or how much.

Types of Questions Asked
  • Qualitative Paradigm
  • there are times when we wish to know not how
    many or how well, but simply how. (Shulman,
    1988, pg. 7)

Class Exercise
  • Now youre ready to formulate your own research
  • Sample questions
  • Is there a relationship between participation in
    an Elluminate chat session and course grade?
  • How do 5th grade students experience the
    anticipation of standardized testing?

Research Questions
  • From Topic to Research Question A good research
    topic asks a clear, concise question. Asking a
    research question helps you keep a tight focus on
    your topic.
  • Tweaking Your Research Question
  • A good research topic is broad enough to allow
    you to find plenty of material, but narrow enough
    to fit within the size and time constraints of
    your paper.
  • If your topic is either too broad or too narrow,
    consider adding or eliminating the following
  • Time Period, century, decade, future, Population
    Type, age, gender, nationality, species,
    Geographic Location country, state, region, Point
    of View economic, social, cultural, biological

Assignment 2 Components (see syllabus for
  • Title Page
  • Nature of the Problem
  • Background and Significance of the Problem
  • Literature Review
  • Research Questions
  • References

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Figuring out your study
  • What?
  • Who?
  • When?
  • Why?
  • And How?

Topic ideas
  • Online chat reference
  • Types of questions
  • Subject? Type?
  • of turnaways
  • Difference in discourse
  • In-person vs. chat
  • Partnership studies
  • Similar libraries with same software

Topic Ideas
  • E-book usage
  • Usability studies of
  • Online tutorial(s)
  • My Library portals
  • Analysis of library web sites or library
    instruction sites or pathfinders by best
  • Student learning outcomes in LI programs

Types of methodologies
  • QuaLitative Measures
  • Descriptive
  • Numbers not the primary focus
  • Interpretive, ethnographic, naturalistic
  • QuaNtitative Measures
  • N for numbers
  • Statistical
  • Quantifiable

QuaLitative measures
  • Content Analysis
  • Analyzed course syllabi of library use through
    discipline and level (Rambler)
  • Studied online tutorials, applying best practices
    recommendations (Tancheva)

QuaLitative Measures
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Analyzed student responses in writing and
    discussions to a short film compared findings
    to parallel study with LIS grad Ss (Vandergrift)
  • Focus Groups
  • Discussed how participants experience use the
    library (Von Seggern Young)
  • Studied why students use the Internet and how
    much time they use it (Wilson)

QuaLitative Measures
  • Interviews
  • Studied 25 HS students web use for research
    assignments (Lorenzen)
  • Looked at what type of information first year
    students need and how they go about acquiring it
  • Observation (obtrusive)
  • Observed students as they conducted online
    research noted their activities (Dunn)
  • Observation (Unobtrusive)
  • Retrieval of discarded cheat sheets to analyze
    academic misconduct (Pullen et. al.)

QuaLitative Measures
  • Think Aloud Protocols
  • Studied how users navigate a library web site
    (Cockrell Jayne)
  • Usability testing
  • Examined students mental models of online
    tutorials (Veldof Beavers)

QuaNtitative measures
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  • CompareThings
  • Count Things
  • Survey People About Things

QuaNtitative measures
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  • Comparison studies
  • Experimental and control groups
  • Instructional methodologies (Colaric Cudiner
  • Program assessment using before/after analysis of
    research papers(Emmons Martin)

QuaNtitative measures
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  • Pre Post Tests (Van Scoyoc)
  • Measures Scales
  • Bosticks Library Anxiety Scale (Onwuegbuzie
    Jiao Van Scoyoc)
  • Procrastination Assessment Scale (Onwuegbuzie

QuaNtitative measures
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  • Numeric Studies
  • Citation Analysis?Bibliometrics (Dellavalle)
  • Webometrics (Bar-Ilian)

Ready Made Data Sets
  • National Survey of Student Engagement (Whitmire)
  • College Student Experiences Questionnaire (Kuh
    and Gonyea)
  • The Web
  • Internet Archive (Ryan, Field Olfman)
  • Electronic journals (Dellavalle)
  • Library server logs

Common Pitfalls
  • Problems with population
  • Sampling?
  • Representativeness?
  • Self-selection?

Research Problem 1 A study assessing student
learning outcomes in 2 broad categories
(concepts, techniques) by examining student
research journals in 1 section of an elective
information literacy course in fall semester.
Research Problem 4 A 2004 article on a library
use and services satisfaction study that used as
its measurement tool a survey given to every nth
person entering the library building on 40
randomly selected days throughout the school
Research Problem 5 An outcomes assessment
research project of a 5 year old IL program in
which all incoming freshmen must participate.
Total student population on campus is divided
between 32 freshmen to senior (or 4 year) and
68 transfer students.
Common Pitfalls
  • Problems with operationalization
  • Defining of what is measured

Research Problem 2 An experimental study that
proposes a fund allocation formula for academic
library collections based on the following
average of overall book price average of
overall serial prices degree level (10 for
undergraduate to 30 for doctorate) / the number
of students enrolled in degree program as majors
the total number of faculty in the department
three total number of students in program.
(OAB OAS) D/(Sn (Fn3))Sn N.B. Not a
standard formula
Research Problem 3 A newspaper article you read
just the other day stated that in a recently
published study done at a major U.S. university,
researchers found that domestic violence affects
1 in every 4 women.
Research Problem 4 A 2004 article on a library
use and services satisfaction study that used as
its measurement tool a survey given to every nth
person entering the library building on 40
randomly selected days throughout the school
Research Problem 5 Over a one year period,
researchers studied the occurrence of turn-aways
in a virtual reference service and noted that the
significantly high occurrence of turn-aways
indicates increased need for virtual reference
Common Pitfalls
  • Problems with generalizability
  • False conclusions
  • Transformations

Research Problem 1 A study assessing student
learning outcomes in 2 broad categories
(concepts, techniques) by examining student
research journals in 1 section of an elective
information literacy course in fall semester.
Research Problem 7 A survey of faculty found
that the majority of those interviewed interacted
most with librarians at the reference desk. The
researchers concluded that most faculty view
librarians in a servile role.
Keep In Mind That
  • No study is perfect
  • All data is dirty is some way or another
    research is what you do with that dirty data
  • Measurement involves making choices

Be Critical About Numbers (Best 2001)
  • Every statistic is a way of summarizing complex
    information into relatively simple numbers.
  • How did the researchers arrive at these numbers?
  • Who produced the numbers and what is their bias?
  • How can key terms be defined in how many
    different ways?

Be Critical About Numbers
  • How was the choice for the measurement made?
  • What type of sample was gathered how does that
    affect result?
  • Is the statistical result interpreted correctly?
  • If comparisons are made, are they appropriate?
  • Are there competing statistics?

Getting Started
  • Read to learn read to analyze
  • About research methodology
  • Studies on similar topics
  • Interesting studies
  • Non-library studies

Getting Started
  • Finding a topic neednt be traumatic
  • Work projects? Research studies
  • PT overhaul
  • Library GO Bond Proposal Project
  • Library workshop trends
  • User repair strategies

Getting Started
  • Data collection involves agreement consent
  • Forge partnerships
  • At some point you will need to leave the comfort
    zone of reading and literature gathering and

Just get out and do it!
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Research methodology
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Qualitative procedures

Quantitative Methods
  • A definition
  • A survey or experiment that provides as output a
    quantitative or numeric description of some
    fraction of the population, called the sample.

Components of a survey method
  • The survey design
  • The population and sample
  • The instrumentation
  • Variables in the study
  • Data analysis

The survey design
  • Purpose of the survey
  • The research question
  • Type of survey
  • Cross sectional
  • Longitudinal
  • Form of data collection

The population and sample
  • Description of the population
  • Sampling design
  • Single stage
  • Multistage
  • Stratified
  • Sample selection

The instrumentation
  • The instrument (tool)
  • Existing
  • New
  • Rating scale
  • Likert scale Rating the Items. 1-to-5 rating
    scale where
  • strongly unfavorable to the concept
  • somewhat unfavorable to the concept
  • undecided
  • somewhat favorable to the concept
  • strongly favorable to the concept
  • Pilot
  • Administration
  • Postal survey
  • email

Variables and analysis
  • The research question
  • Variable in the research
  • E.g. Number of years of academic study
  • The questions in the instrument
  • E.g. How many years of study in a University
  • As an undergraduate?
  • As a postgraduate?
  • Data analysis
  • Steps
  • Bias in the data
  • Non-response
  • Statistics, e.g. mean, standard deviation etc.

Components of an experimental method
  • Subjects
  • Instruments and materials
  • The experimental design

  • Selection
  • Conveniently
  • Random (RCT)
  • Group assignment
  • Random
  • Matched. E.g. Ability, Age
  • Size
  • Variables
  • Dependent
  • Independent

Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT)
  • A true experiment, in which the researcher
    randomly assigns some patients to at least one
    maneuver (treatment) and other patients to a
    placebo, or usual treatment. Key features the
    classic way to evaluate effectiveness of drugs
    (or exercise, diet, counseling). Patients are
    followed over time (Prospective). If properly
    done, an RCT can be used to determine cause and

Instrumentation and Materials
  • Description
  • Validation
  • Pilot
  • Content validity
  • Prediction validity
  • Materials

The experimental design
  • Type
  • Pre-experimental
  • No control group
  • Quasi-experimental
  • Control group, but not randomly assigned
  • Single subject design (over time)
  • Pure experiment
  • Repeated measures
  • Change groups

Overview of Qualitative Research Design
  • Historical routes in anthropology
  • Generates new understanding by naming and
    framing concepts and themes
  • Removes bias by questioning preconceived
    assumptions of the social group under study
  • Promotes neutrality through adoption by the
    researcher of naïve stance or critical
    discussion, challenges pre-conceived assumptions
    of both the researcher and the social group under
  • Produces new understanding about the world,
    changes the way power, culture and social
    interaction are understood

Data Collection in Qualitative Research
  • Observation (Videoed, non-participant,
    semi-participant and participant observation,
    field notes)
  • Interviews (individual and group - known as focus
    groups, tape recorded and transcribed, field
  • Secondary data analysis (using written material
    collected for purposes other than research)
  • Questionnaires (unstructured, postal, interviews)
  • A mixture of all four

Questions in Qualitative Research
In qualitative research questions are open-ended.
Sometimes a check list or topic guide will be
used by the researcher to ensure all the relevant
areas are covered. This is known as
semi-structured data collection. It is used in
all four methods of data collection Sometimes the
only guide is the topic itself and the researcher
collects verbatim or naturally occurring data.
This is known as unstructured data collection. It
is used in all four methods of data collection
Sampling in Qualitative Research
The sampling method of choice is theoretical
sampling (queuing behaviour) However, often this
is not possible and people resort to convenience
sampling (students) and snowball sampling
(mental health in black and ethnic minority
communities) Neither of the latter two methods
are considered strong but maybe all that can be
achieved. Research must be viable.
Data Analysis in Qualitative Research
  • Read and re-read data, become engrossed in it.
  • Identify themes common, conflicting, minority
  • Test themes across the data set, where are they
    common, under what circumstances are they found,
    not found. This sets the parameters on the
    interpretation and generalisation of data
  • Get more than one person to analyse the data
    independently then together
  • Demonstrate trustworthiness in data analysis
  • Examples
  • Biographical continuity
  • Nursing routines as a method of managing a
    transient workforce

Qualitative research
  • Interpretative research
  • Process orientated
  • Researcher(s) are the primary data collection
  • Descriptive research
  • Outputs are an inductive process

  • MSc project web pages
  • http//
  • Creswell, J. W. (1994) Research design
    qualitative and quantitative approaches. -
    Thousand Oaks, Calif. London Sage
    Publications, ISBN 0803952546