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Data Collection & Analysis

What exactly are research methods?

Research methods are the systematic tools used to conduct research. Basically, they are the rules researchers follow to collect information in order to seek an answer to their research question.

Why are they important?

Research methods help researchers collect data in an accepted manner in order to produce accurate results. Sound methodology is important to make sure your research results are trusted and respected in your field. In some disciplines, the use of standardized methods is also important to allow fellow researchers to replicate, or repeat, their studies.

Choosing that appropriate method for your study can be a challenge at first. But the resources on this page have been designed with researchers in mind.

SAGE Research Methods Online

SAGE Publications logoSAGE Research Methods Online is particularly helpful to you as a researcher when;

  • You are looking for information on how to design and conduct a research project
  • You need to learn new research methods
  • You need help doing a literature review or analyzing your data

A map of different content types available in SAGE Research Methods Online and how they support the stages of a research project. These include e.g. "Defining scope" - Books for advice on research management, proposals, funding requests etc. Click to go to Sage Research Methods online to see more.

SAGE Research Methods Cases logo - click to access SAGE Research Methods

Within SAGE Research Methods Online you will find a collection of hundreds of case studies of real social research, specially commissioned and designed to support teaching and learning in research methods. Each case is written to help students understand the often abstract-feeling methodological concepts by seeing how methods have been used in actual projects. Cases bring a real-world context to theoretical methods and explore the difficulties, nuances, and real-life decisions that researchers are forced to make in the course of a project. The cases have been carefully commissioned to match course content and the needs of researchers internationally. The full range of methods used in the social and behavioral sciences, as well as many commonly used in the Science, Technology, and Medical disciplines are represented. Each case includes learning objectives, exercises and objectives, and sample study questions.

SAGE Research Methods Datasets logo - click to access SAGE Research Methods

SAGE Research Methods Datasets is a collection of teaching datasets that can be used to support the teaching and independent learning of quantitative and qualitative analytical methods used in the social sciences. These are datasets taken from larger national and international data sources, cleaned and reduced in size and complexity for teaching and self-study purposes, perfect for researchers learning a new method or brushing up on an old one.

The datasets:

  • Cover qualitative and quantitative research methods;
  • Support all of the main social science fields, including Business, Education, Health, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology;
  • Are designed to be interesting and contemporary;
  • Are downloadable in multiple file formats in most cases; and
  • Come with a how-to guide explaining how different statistical or analytical techniques can be applied to the dataset.

A picture of a gorilla and the text "There's method to the madness" Sage Research Methods