The sites below provide a good starting point for those looking to gain an overview of social science approaches, methodologies and resources. Other pages in this research section link more directly to tools and approaches including participatory action research, social research ethics, and managing integration though the use of inter- ad trans-disciplinary approaches. Other pages under the supporting change section provide more in the way of practical guides to supporting behaviour change.
Social Science Tools for Coastal Programs Publication Series This site is managed by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Management Center. It is designed to help marine protected area (MPA) managers use social science to accomplish their goals. Specifically, this site provides basic – but very useful – information about social science concepts and methods, and guides managers in determining the appropriate tools, such as surveys and cost-benefit analyses, to address their specific issues. Managers will learn, too, how to be informed users of social science research.
An introduction to qualitative research This guide has been developed by John Schostak. It has been used as an introductory text on several master’s level courses aimed at teachers, health professionals and business consultants. It is not meant to be definitive. Its purpose is to begin the process of people thinking about doing their own research for their own purposes. In each course it was revised to meet the needs of the students and was first placed on the Enquiry Learning Unit website in 1995. It specifically covers methods for researching action and change.
Center for Social Research Methods This links to an online hypertext textbook on applied social research methods that covers everything you want to know about defining a research question, sampling, measurement, research design and data analysis. The site and textbook have been developed by William Trochim, a Professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University.
Intute: Social Sciences Provides links to resources in both quantitative and qualitative social research methods. Intute is a free online service providing you with access to selected Web resources for education and research. The service is created by a network of UK universities and partners. Subject specialists select and evaluate the websites in our database and write high quality descriptions of the resources.
How to do a research project This page by Colin Robson lists a number of Internet resources that can help you get started with your first research projects. The resources are given under the following headings: Preliminaries; Approaches to research; Developing your ideas; Selecting the method(s) of collecting data; Practicalities of data collection; Analysing and interpreting your findings; and Writing the report
Free Resources for Program Evaluation and Social Research Methods This useful page created by Gene Shackman lists a number of resources for methods in program evaluation and social research. The focus is on “how-to” do evaluation research and the methods used: surveys, focus groups, sampling, interviews, and other methods. Most of these links are to resources that can be read over the web.
HD.gov: Methods The “Methods” section is composed of methods and strategies used in human dimensions research. Each method page includes a brief description of the method, some general applications, strengths, limitations, case studies of how the method has been used, expertise required to apply the method, and advanced applications and resources. Users are encouraged to suggest modifications and additions to descriptions provided.
QUALPAGE Qualpage is a comprehensive and regularly updated list of qualitative resources initially started in 1995 by Judy Norris and subsequently managed since 2003 by Judith Preissle. The site has many resources about qualitative research and is regularly updated. It has a broad range of news and links so that you can find a variety of information on qualitative research.
Qualitative Research in Information Systems This site is edited by Michael Myers and aims to provide qualitative researchers in IS – and those wanting to know how to do qualitative research – with useful information on the conduct, evaluation and publication of qualitative research. Qualitative researchers can be found in many disciplines and fields, using a variety of approaches, methods and techniques. In Information Systems, there has been a general shift in IS research away from technological to managerial and organizational issues, hence an increasing interest in the application of qualitative research methods.