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When to Use What Research Design

W. Paul Vogt, Dianne C. Gardner, and Lynne M. Haeffele

378 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
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February 2012
ISBN 978-1-4625-0353-7
Cat. #0353
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February 2012
ISBN 978-1-4625-0360-5
Cat. #0360
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April 2012
ISBN 978-1-4625-0362-9
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General Introduction: Design, Sampling, and Ethics

I. Research Questions and Designs

What Is the Role of Theory in Research Questions and Designs?

1. When to Use Survey Designs

When Are Surveys Likely to Be a Wise Design Choice?

When Should You Use Which Mode of Administering Your Survey?

What Design Should You Use to Study Change over Time?

What Question Formats Can You Use in a Survey Design?

Conclusion on Survey Designs: So Many Questions, So Little Time

2. When to Use Interview Designs

Comparing Interviews with Surveys

Conclusion on Interview Designs in General

Specific Interview Types, Approaches, and Procedures

Conclusion

3. When to Use Experimental Designs

What’s Wrong with Gold-Standard Thinking?

When Is an RCT a Good Option?

When Is an Experimental Design a Good Option for Your Research?

When Should You Use the Basic Types of Experimental Design?

General Conclusion on When to Use Experimental Designs

4. When to Use Naturalistic and Participant Observational Designs

Overview of Observational Designs

When Is Observation a Good Design Choice?

Further Distinguishing between Naturalistic and Participant Observational Designs

When Should You Use a Naturalistic Observational Design?

When Should You Use Participant Observational Designs?

Conclusion: Characteristics of All Observational Designs

5. When to Use Archival Designs: Literature Reviews and Secondary Analyses

What Kinds of Archival Data Are Available for Researchers?

When Should You Collect and Use Preexisting Data Rather Than Produce Your Own?

Types of Archival Research

Database Archives

Organizational Records

Textual Studies of Documents

New Media, Including Internet Sources

Conclusion

6. When to Use Combined Research Designs

Simple versus Multipart Research Questions

When to Combine Research Designs

Types and Qualities of Combined Designs

Logistical Considerations in Combined Research Designs

Conclusion and Summary

II. Sampling, Selection, and Recruitment

7. Sampling for Surveys

Probability Samples

Nonprobability Samples

When Should You Try to Improve Response Rates?

How Big Should Your Sample Be?

Conclusion

8. Identifying and Recruiting People for Interviews

How Interview Strategies Are Shaped by Research Questions

Making Basic Decisions about Interview Sampling

Conclusions on Selecting People to Interview

9. Sampling, Recruiting, and Assigning Participantsin Experiments

Randomized Controlled Trials

Alternatives to RCTs

Controlling for Covariates

Conclusion: Sampling, Recruiting, and Assigning Cases in Experiments

10. Searching and Sampling for Observations

Overview of Searching and Sampling Concerns in Observational Research

Appropriateness and Relevance of the Sample

Accessing Observation Sites

Decisions Influenced by Resources and Other Practical Considerations

Four Basic Sampling Decisions

Sampling and the Five Types of Research Questions

Conclusion and Summary

11. Sampling from Archival Sources

When Do You Search and When Do You Sample?

Sampling Research Literature to Build Upon and Synthesize It

Database Archives

Organizational Records

Textual Studies of Documents

New Media, Including Various Internet Sources

Conclusion

12. Sampling and Recruiting for Combined Research Designs

When Should You Use Probability Samples in Your Combined Design Study?

When Should You Use Purposive Samples in Your Combined Design Study?

When Should You Use Both Probability and Purposive Samples in Your Study?

Conclusion and Summary

III. Research Ethics: The Responsible Conduct of Research

Responsibilities toward the Persons Being Studied

Responsibilities toward Other Researchers

Responsibilities toward the Broader Society/Community

13. Ethics in Survey Research

Consent: Informed Participants Willingly Joining the Research Project

Harm: Preventing Injury to Respondents

Privacy: Ensuring Respondents’ Anonymity and/or Confidentiality

Conclusion

14. Ethics in Interview Research

Consent: Informed Participants Willingly Agreeing to Be Interviewed

Harm: Preventing Injury to Interviewees during the Interview

Privacy: Ensuring Interviewees’ Confidentiality

Conclusion

15. Ethics in Experimental Research

Consent: Informed Participants Willingly Joining the Research Project

Harm: Preventing Injury to Experimental Participants

Privacy: Ensuring Participants’ Anonymity and/or Confidentiality

Conclusion

16. Ethics in Observational Research

Seeking and Acquiring Informed Consent to Observe

Avoiding and Minimizing Harm to Participants While Conducting the Study

Ensuring Participant Privacy

Conclusion

17. Ethical Issues in Archival Research

Ethical Practice in Reviews of the Research Literature

Ethical Practices in Employing Database Archives

Ethical Obligations When Using Institutional Records

Ethical Issues When Using Documents, Including Public Documents

Ethical Issues When Using Blogs and Other Sources Published On-line

When Might the Honest, Correct Reporting of Archival Research Cause Harm?

Conclusion

18. Ethical Considerations in Combined Research Designs

Consent

Harm

Privacy

Conclusion: Culmination of Design, Sampling, and Ethics in Valid Data Coding

When to Use Qualities or Quantities, Names or Numbers, Categories or Continua?

What Methods to Use to Code Concepts with Reliability and Validity

What Methods to Use to Improve Reliability

What Methods to Use to Enhance Validity

What to Use to Code Concepts Validly

Coding Decisions Shape Analytic Options

Glossary

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