Guide Intelligent Research Design: A Guide for Beginning Researchers in the Social Sciences

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It is equally wrong to assume that data speak for themselves, thus constituting a sufficient condition for conducting research in the social sciences. Rather, bright ideas and sound evidence are better conceived as necessary but not sufficient conditions for conducting high-quality research in the social sciences. With this in mind, research methods can be seen as the bridge allowing to link theoretical considerations and empirical material, sometimes pushing the researcher to downscale her ambitions, some others opening up unforeseen avenues for research.

Starting from this consideration on the role of methods in the social sciences, this module aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the main research methodologies and methods they are likely to employ when conducting research in the social sciences.

Qualitative Research Definition and Methods

CiteUlike — Search, organize, and share scholarly papers. Colwiz — Create citations and bibliography and set up your research groups on the cloud to share files and references. Delvehealth — A data collection of global clinical trials, clinical trial investigator profiles, publications and drug development pipelines. EvidenceFinder — Enriches your literature exploration by suggesting questions alongside your search results. Google Scholar — Provides a way to broadly search for scholarly literature across disciplines and sources.

LiteracyTool — Educational web-platform helping with the discovery, understanding, and exploration of your scientific topics of interest. Mendeley — A unique platform comprising a social network, reference manager, article visualization tools. MyScienceWork — Diffuse scientific information and knowledge in a free and accessible way. Paperity — Aggregator of open access papers and journals Paperscape — Visualise the arXiv, an open, online repository for scientific research papers.

PubChase — Life sciences and medical literature recommendations engine. Scicurve — Transforms systematic literature review into interactive and comprehensible environment. Sciencescape — Innovation in the exploration of papers and authors. Scizzle — Curator that automagically finds new and relevant research papers. SSRN — Multi-disciplinary online repository of scholarly research and related materials in social sciences. Symplur — Connecting the dots in healthcare social media. Wiki Journal Club — Open, user-reviewed summaries of the top studies in medical research. Zotero — Helps you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.

Interactive Science Publishing — Allows authors to publish large datasets with original source data that can be viewed interactively by readers. Mendeley — A platform comprising a social network, reference manager, article visualization tools. PaperHive — Simplifying research communication and introducing new ways of collaboration through in-document discussions. PubReader — Alternative web presentation that offers another, more reader-friendly way to read literature in PMC and Bookshelf.

Utopia Docs — Pdf reader that connects the static content of scientific articles to the dynamic world of online content. Wiley Smart Article — Enhanced article tools for chemistry content in Whiley journals. ContentMine — Uses machines to liberate ,, facts from the scientific literature. DataBank — Analysis and visualisation tool that contains collections of time series data on a variety of topics.

DataCite — Establish easier access to research data by providing persistent identifiers for data.


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DataHub — Publish or register datasets, create and manage groups and communities Dataverse Network — Harvard-based tool to share, cite, reuse and archive research data. Dryad — Data repository for any files associated with any published article in the sciences or medicine. Figshare — Manage your research in the cloud and control who you share it with or make it publicly available and citable GenBank — Gene sequence database provided by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

GitHub — Online software project hosting using the Git revision control system. Open Science Framework — Gathers a network of research documents, a version control system, and a collaboration software. Peer Evaluation — Open repository for data, papers, media coupled with an open review and discussion platform.

Quip — Combines chat, documents, spreadsheets, checklist, and more to collaborate on any device. Research Compendia — Tools for researchers to connect their data, code and computational methods to their published research SlideShare — Community for sharing presentations and other professional content Socialsci — Help researchers collect data for their surveys and experiments blog post. Zenodo — A home for the long-tail of science, enabling researchers to share and preserve any research outputs.

Connect with experts and researchers Academia — A place to share and follow research and researchers. AcademicJoy — Share research ideas and story in research and innovation. Addgene — Connect with other researchers through this plasmid sharing platform. AssayDepot — Pharmaceutical marketplace for life science research services.

Benchling — Life science data management and collaboration platform. Cureus — A free and open access the medical journal and a place for physicians to build a digital CV. Direct2experts — A federated network of biomedical research expertise. Expertnet — Helps you locate experts in Florida universities. GlobalEventList — A comprehensive directory of scientific events worldwide.

Kaggle — Connect with organisation in need of data prediction algorithms through open competitions for the best code. Linkedin — Professional networking site for all. Loop — Open, cross-platform network for researchers and academics from the Frontiers journals. Mendeley — A unique platform comprising a social network, reference manager, article visualization tools MyScienceWork — Diffuse scientific information and knowledge in a free and accessible way. Piirus — Helps researchers meet potential collaborators, build networks and develop their core research.

Profeza — Showcasing the unvalued work behind each article to provide new, more accurate way of evaluating researchers. ResearchGate — Social network for researchers. ScienceExchange — Marketplace for shared lab instrumentations. Outreach AcademicJoy — Sharing research ideas and story in research and innovation. I Am Scientist — A science outreach education and engagement activity. Kudos — Helps researchers explain, enrich and share their publications for greater research impact.

Useful Science — Summaries of the latest science useful in life. Citizen science Folding home — Distributed computing project which studies protein folding, misfolding, aggregation, and related diseases. Kaggle — Platform for data prediction competitions. Patient Innovation — Nonprofit, international, multilingual, free venue for patients and caregivers of any disease to share their innovations. Project Noah — Explore and document wildlife on this citizen scientists platform.

SciStarter — Find, join, and contribute to science through recreational activities and citizen science research projects. Zooniverse — Citizen science projects using the efforts and ability of volunteers to help scientists and researchers. Crowdfunding Benefunder — Facilitates connections with top researchers who are working on breakthrough discoveries that are impacting our world. Consano — Research crowdfunding site to directly support innovative medical research that matters to you Experiment — Crowdfunding Platform for Scientific Research.

My Projects — Donate to the research work that means the most to you. SciFlies — Allows anyone, anywhere to directly support research they care about. Lab and project management 1degreebio — Reagent marketplace. ELabInventory — Web-based laboratory inventory management system designed for life science research laboratories. LabCritics — Provides researchers with a trust-able source of lab equipment reviews and comparisons.

LabGuru — Supports day to day activities of a research group, from vision to execution, from knowledge to logistics. Life technologies Lab Management Tool — Management tool for lab equipment and services. Quartzy — A free and easy way to manage your lab. StrainControl — Lab management tools that allows you to organize strains, plasmids, oligos, antibodies, chemicals and inventorie.

Synapse — Platform to support open, collaborative data analysis for clear, reproducible science Electronic lab notebook Docollab — Helps you manage your scientific research, collaborate with your colleagues and publish your findings. Evernote — A place to collect inspirational ideas, write meaningful words, and move your important projects forward.

Findings App — Lab notebook app that allows to organize your experiments, keep track of results, and manage your protocols. Hivebench — Hosted numeric laboratory notebook tool to manage protocols, experiments and share them with your team. LabArchives — Web-based product to enable researchers to store, organize, and publish their research data. Labfolder — Simple way to document your research and to organize your protocols and data.

Laboratory Logbook — Document projects running in a lab and manage experimentally obtained data and its metadata. Biospecimens — Platform for biospecimen-based research. Duke human heart — Repository for cardiovascular research scientists, including tissues samples and information. Nanosupply — Platform facilitating sourcing and sharing of advanced materials for research and education. Benchling — Life science data management and collaboration platform, where you can create, find, and discuss protocols. Bio-Protocol — Online peer-reviewed protocol journal.

IPOL journal — Research journal of image processing and image analysis with algorithm descriptions and its source code. MyExperiment — Share workflows and in silico experiments. OpenWetWare — Share information, know-how, wisdom, and protocols among researchers working in biological fields. Pegasus — Platform that help workflow-based applications execute. Protocols — Crowdsourced universal protocol repository. Work with code CDE Tool — Deploy and run your Linux programs on other machines without any installation or configuration.

Dexy — Helps your code to speak for itself with beautiful syntax highlighting. Kepler — Helps create, execute, and share models and analyses across scientific and engineering disciplines. Mercurial — Control management tool with distributed source, giving each developer a local copy of the development history. ROpenSci — Packages that allow access to data repositories through the R statistical programming environment.

Sweave — Allows to embed the R code for complete data analyses in latex documents System in Cloud — Platform, enabling clients to rapidly draw and execute data-flow diagram that run in cloud. Work with data Benchling — Life science data management and collaboration platform. Dat data — Open source, decentralized data tool for distributing datasets small and large. Delve Health — Comprehensive source of real-time intelligence focused on life science research industry.

Galaxy Project — Web-based platform for data intensive biomedical research.


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GenePattern — Genomic analysis platform that provides access to hundreds of genomics tools. Kaggle — Patform for data prediction competitions. MyExperiment — Share workflows and in silico experiments nanoHUB — Centralized platform for computational nanotechnology research, education, and collaboration.

Plotly — Online tool to graph and share data. Sweave — Allows to embed the R code for complete data analyses in latex documents. Synapse — Platform to support open, collaborative data analysis for clear, reproducible science. System in Cloud — Platform, enabling clients to rapidly draw and execute data-flow diagram that run in cloud. Tableau — Easily and quickly analyze and present data and share insights. Taverna — A suite of tools used to design and execute scientific workflows. VisTrails — Scientific workflow and provenance management system that supports data exploration and visualization.

Wakari — Web-based python data analysis. WebPlotDigitizer — Web based tool to extract data from plots, images, and maps. Wolfram Alpha — Web-based tools for scientific calculations. Publiconn — Social network for organisations which are users of public or private donor funding and those organisations that provide funding. Paperpile — No-fuss reference management for the web Google docs plugin. Atlas — Write, collaborate, design and publish on a single platform. Authorea — Platform to write scientific, academic, and technical documents in collaboration.

Typewrite — A simple, real-time collaborative writing environment. Write — Distraction-free text editor for writing productivity. Writefull — Provides feedback on your writing using data from the Google Books database. Open access platforms eLife — Open access to the most promising advances in science. Limn — Free journal that outlines contemporary problems. PeerJ — Open access pre-print and publishing of life science research with annotation. ScienceOpen — Freely accessible research network to share and evaluate scientific information. Figshare — Manage your research in the cloud and control who you share it with or make it publicly available and citable.

Peerage of Science — Pre-publication peer review and publishing for scientific articles. SlideShare — Community for sharing presentations and other professional content. Support to publication Collage Authoring Environment — Framework for collaborative preparation and publication of so-called executable paper. Google Charts — Create live and interactive charts in your browser. RunMyCode — Openly share the code and data that underlie your research publications.

Journal Guide — Find the best journal for your research. RoMEO — Find out publisher copyright and self-archiving policies. SciRev — Share your experience with the scientific review process and learn from others to decide where to submit your manuscripts. Peer-review Academic Karma — Review of preprint publication, open and linked to original preprint.

English abstract

Publons — Record, showcase, and verify all your peer review activity. Pubmed Commons — Share opinions and information about scientific publications in PubMed. Altmetrics Altmetric — Tracks what people are saying about papers online on behalf of publishers, authors, libraries and institutions.

ImpactStory — Share the full story of your research impact. PlumAnalytics — A research altmetric service tracking more than 20 different types of artifacts. Thanks, Ben Mudrak. Hello Friends, This is really good information thanks for sharing this online tools. Please help me to write an article on machine learning algorithms in data mining.

Thankyou Sir, It has helped me a lot in doing my Project. Inductive -- a form of reasoning in which a generalized conclusion is formulated from particular instances. Inductive Analysis -- a form of analysis based on inductive reasoning; a researcher using inductive analysis starts with answers, but formulates questions throughout the research process.

Insiderness -- a concept in qualitative research that refers to the degree to which a researcher has access to and an understanding of persons, places, or things within a group or community based on being a member of that group or community. Internal Consistency -- the extent to which all questions or items assess the same characteristic, skill, or quality. Internal Validity -- the rigor with which the study was conducted [e.

It is also the extent to which the designers of a study have taken into account alternative explanations for any causal relationships they explore. In studies that do not explore causal relationships, only the first of these definitions should be considered when assessing internal validity. A life history is different from a "research story" in that it covers a longer time span, perhaps a complete life, or a significant period in a life. Margin of Error -- the permittable or acceptable deviation from the target or a specific value. The allowance for slight error or miscalculation or changing circumstances in a study.

Measurement -- process of obtaining a numerical description of the extent to which persons, organizations, or things possess specified characteristics. Meta-Analysis -- an analysis combining the results of several studies that address a set of related hypotheses. Methodology -- a theory or analysis of how research does and should proceed.

Read Intelligent Research Design: A Guide for Beginning Researchers in the Social Sciences

Methods -- systematic approaches to the conduct of an operation or process. It includes steps of procedure, application of techniques, systems of reasoning or analysis, and the modes of inquiry employed by a discipline. Mixed-Methods -- a research approach that uses two or more methods from both the quantitative and qualitative research categories. It is also referred to as blended methods, combined methods, or methodological triangulation. Modeling -- the creation of a physical or computer analogy to understand a particular phenomenon.

Modeling helps in estimating the relative magnitude of various factors involved in a phenomenon. A successful model can be shown to account for unexpected behavior that has been observed, to predict certain behaviors, which can then be tested experimentally, and to demonstrate that a given theory cannot account for certain phenomenon. Models -- representations of objects, principles, processes, or ideas often used for imitation or emulation. Naturalistic Observation -- observation of behaviors and events in natural settings without experimental manipulation or other forms of interference.

Norm -- the norm in statistics is the average or usual performance. For example, students usually complete their high school graduation requirements when they are 18 years old. Even though some students graduate when they are younger or older, the norm is that any given student will graduate when he or she is 18 years old. Null Hypothesis -- the proposition, to be tested statistically, that the experimental intervention has "no effect," meaning that the treatment and control groups will not differ as a result of the intervention. Investigators usually hope that the data will demonstrate some effect from the intervention, thus allowing the investigator to reject the null hypothesis.

Ontology -- a discipline of philosophy that explores the science of what is, the kinds and structures of objects, properties, events, processes, and relations in every area of reality. Panel Study -- a longitudinal study in which a group of individuals is interviewed at intervals over a period of time. Peer-Review -- the process in which the author of a book, article, or other type of publication submits his or her work to experts in the field for critical evaluation, usually prior to publication. This is standard procedure in publishing scholarly research. Phenomenology -- a qualitative research approach concerned with understanding certain group behaviors from that group's point of view.

Philosophy -- critical examination of the grounds for fundamental beliefs and analysis of the basic concepts, doctrines, or practices that express such beliefs. Phonology -- the study of the ways in which speech sounds form systems and patterns in language. Policy -- governing principles that serve as guidelines or rules for decision making and action in a given area.

Policy Analysis -- systematic study of the nature, rationale, cost, impact, effectiveness, implications, etc. Population -- the target group under investigation. The population is the entire set under consideration. Samples are drawn from populations. Position Papers -- statements of official or organizational viewpoints, often recommending a particular course of action or response to a situation. Positivism -- a doctrine in the philosophy of science, positivism argues that science can only deal with observable entities known directly to experience.

The positivist aims to construct general laws, or theories, which express relationships between phenomena.

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Observation and experiment is used to show whether the phenomena fit the theory. Predictive Measurement -- use of tests, inventories, or other measures to determine or estimate future events, conditions, outcomes, or trends. Principal Investigator -- the scientist or scholar with primary responsibility for the design and conduct of a research project.

Probability -- the chance that a phenomenon will occur randomly. As a statistical measure, it is shown as p [the "p" factor]. Questionnaire -- structured sets of questions on specified subjects that are used to gather information, attitudes, or opinions. Random Sampling -- a process used in research to draw a sample of a population strictly by chance, yielding no discernible pattern beyond chance. Random sampling can be accomplished by first numbering the population, then selecting the sample according to a table of random numbers or using a random-number computer generator.

The sample is said to be random because there is no regular or discernible pattern or order. Random sample selection is used under the assumption that sufficiently large samples assigned randomly will exhibit a distribution comparable to that of the population from which the sample is drawn. The random assignment of participants increases the probability that differences observed between participant groups are the result of the experimental intervention. Reliability -- the degree to which a measure yields consistent results. If the measuring instrument [e.

Reliability is a prerequisite for validity. An unreliable indicator cannot produce trustworthy results. Representative Sample -- sample in which the participants closely match the characteristics of the population, and thus, all segments of the population are represented in the sample. A representative sample allows results to be generalized from the sample to the population. Rigor -- degree to which research methods are scrupulously and meticulously carried out in order to recognize important influences occurring in an experimental study.

Sample -- the population researched in a particular study. Usually, attempts are made to select a "sample population" that is considered representative of groups of people to whom results will be generalized or transferred. In studies that use inferential statistics to analyze results or which are designed to be generalizable, sample size is critical, generally the larger the number in the sample, the higher the likelihood of a representative distribution of the population.

Sampling Error -- the degree to which the results from the sample deviate from those that would be obtained from the entire population, because of random error in the selection of respondent and the corresponding reduction in reliability. Saturation -- a situation in which data analysis begins to reveal repetition and redundancy and when new data tend to confirm existing findings rather than expand upon them.

Semantics -- the relationship between symbols and meaning in a linguistic system.