2. Doing Quantitative Research

This section covers resources that will help librarians understand qualitative research and conduct studies in their environments. It includes resources on underlying concepts, methods, software, and support for both beginning and experienced users of qualitative research.

We welcome suggestions for additional Web sites. For this section, please send suggestions to Janelle Hedstrom (jhedstrom@austin.utexas.edu) or Anne C. Moore (annem@library.umass.edu).

Overview Sites

Qualitative Measures
The qualitative component of a web-based textbook (Research Methods Knowledge Base, 2nd Edition) that addresses issues typically covered in introductory social research method courses such as principles, data, approaches, methods, and validity. Written and maintained by William M. Trochim at Cornell University.

Qualitative Research in Information Systems
An established Web site organized as a review article that covers philosophical perspectives, data collection methods, software, modes of analysis, and citations on important concepts for qualitative researchers. This site edited by Michael D. Myers is the "living version" of his 1997 MISQ Discovery article. It is maintained by the Association for Information Systems and sponsored by the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

The Qualitative Report
A Web site for a peer-reviewed online journal based exclusively on the topic of qualitative research published by Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It provides access to its own journal articles as well as links to other journals dedicated to research, research related Web sites and editorials, as well as several tools and resources for an active researcher.

Social Science Information Gateway (SOSIG): Qualitative Methods
Pulls together content for researchers and practitioners in the social sciences on diverse qualitative research topics: software; papers, reports, and articles by individuals and groups; data sources; journals; listservs; organizations, societies, and companies; research projects and centers; and resource guides. It is part of the UK Resource Discovery Network.

Specific Methods

Introduction to Interviewing Techniques
Detailed information on conducting qualitative interviews from the Handbook for IQP Advisors and Students written by James K. Doyle, Department of Social Science and Policy Studies, Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

A Manual for the Use of Focus Groups
Provides detailed information for preparing staff who will conduct focus groups. Based on a document issued by the UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases in 1993.

Using Focus Groups for Evaluation
A brief summary of how to use focus groups in evaluation research projects by Mary Marczak and Meg Sewell of the University of Arizona.

Case Studies
Addresses key concepts and frequently asked questions about case studies. Written by G. David Garson, Professor of Public Administration at North Carolina State University, for use in his research methods courses.

A Synthesis of Ethnographic Research
Concise, approachable explanation of ethnographic research by Michael Genzuk of the Center for Multilingual, Multicultural Research, University of Southern California. Includes guidelines for observation, interviewing, fieldwork, site documents, and balancing description and analysis.

Analysis & Evaluation

An Overview of Content Analysis
An article by Steve Stemier published in Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 7(17) in 2001. Clearly explains how to conduct and analyze the results of the content analysis method. Covers coding, reliability, statistical analysis of results. Includes a lengthy bibliography.

Qualitative Content Analysis
A "how to" article for qualitative text analysis from FQS: Forum: Qualitative Social Research, a peer-reviewed multilingual online journal for qualitative research established in 1999. Supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft ( http://www.dfg.de/en/index.html) .

Policy Hub: "Quality in Qualitative Evaluation: A Framework for Assessing Research Evidence"
This document provides "a useful and useable guide for assessing the credibility, rigour and relevance of individual research studies." Developed by the British Government’s National Centre for Social Research with the purpose of providing guidance to agencies and individuals involved in qualitative research and assessment.