Last month saw the launch of our blog series ‘The changing field of research methods’, looking at developments, challenges and new focuses within research methods and what we, as an industry, are doing to address and adapt to these changes.
This is part of a monthly update and we are delighted to be able to share with you what Research Methods at SAGE looked like again this month:
Responding to industry debates
Addressing big data, quantitative social science, and what they could mean for public policy, SAGE hosted “The big deal about big data: Improving national security and public policy decision making,” a lecture by Dr. Gary King, Professor at Harvard University on May 11th in the Senate Dirksen building in Washington, D.C.
Using examples such as gerrymandering, censorship in China, and the assumptions of the Social Security Administration, King made the important point that the big deal about Big Data is not the data itself, but the analysis of the data. Social scientists often play a key role in that analysis, coming up with policy-relevant findings that can improve some of the biggest issues we face today. Read more about his lecture here.
SAGE also attended the Annual Qualitative Methods Conference in Glasgow, United Kingdom May 3-5. With a theme of collaboration, the conference—run by the International Journal of Qualitative Methods and the International Institute of Qualitative Methodology—focused on how qualitative research can work across communities and cultures to further research effectiveness, give voice to relevant stakeholders, and bridge gaps between people, places, and ideas. At the conference we also had a stand in the main hall exhibiting our innovative Research Methods our publishing portfolio, including SAGE Research Methods. Keep an eye on SAGE Connection for the upcoming post detailing the hot topics in Methods that were discussed!
Innovating in new ways of publishing content
Publishing in new forms and adapting to the needs of researchers, this month also saw the publication of bestselling author Andy Field’s new textbook An Adventure in Statistics: The Reality Enigma. Taking a unique approach to a traditional publishing format, Andy’s ‘novel’ style aims to encourage a new generation of student researchers to engage with statistical research methods in new ways. Find out more about the title here, read Andy’s blog on how and why he wrote the text here and check out the videos from the launch here. Make sure that you also keep a look out for our upcoming Connecting with the Community interview with Andy to be featured on SAGE Connection in the next few weeks.
Adapting our content to suit the needs of our academic community, SAGE is developing SAGE Research Methods to ensure that we are continuing to meet teaching needs. Read the SAGE Connection post by Melissa Crowley, Marketing Manager at SAGE Publishing to find about the new features including Methods Lists, which can be used by individual researchers to keep track of content they will use in their project and the Methods Map, a visual representation of how methods and terms are interrelated.
Connecting the research community since 2007, SAGE’s MethodSpace has moved to a new platform. MethodSpace has been touted as THE convening place for students, academics and practitioners of social and behavioral research methodology.
Amid the new website’s features and simpler navigation, the site also features the new and aptly named Methods in Action series, where we explore how authors are innovating in their approach to research methods in the fast changing field. The posts in the series so far have included:
- Methods in Action: Behavioral Tracking
- Methods in Action: Ethnographic Study of Street Gangs
- Methods in Action: Social Media Surveys
- Methods in Action: Tackling the Tweet
- Methods in Action: Participatory and Community Research
MethodSpace also aired it’s first-ever webinar on conducting Twitter-based research with academics Luke Sloan, a senior lecturer in quantitative methods at Cardiff University, and Joshua Tucker of New York University’s Social Media and Political Participation (SMaPP) lab. During the webinar “Methods in Action: Tackling the Tweet”, attendees learned about various ways of supporting research with Twitter data, from exploring cultural differences in those who chooses to geotag their tweets to the retweeting habits of political parties, and more. Find a recording of the webinar, extended Q&A, and presentation slides here.
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‘The changing field of research methods’ series will be part of a monthly SAGE research methods update, focusing on developments in the field, engagement in key debates, innovative new products and publications as well as top tips for those working with new and emerging research methods techniques. Find previous posts here.