The changing field of research methods- Part 4

Sharing insights and new research from SAGE authors, we spent last month addressing several issues surrounding data visualization and other trending topics in research methods.

13434764_1183144035063890_7372060341505906020_nKicking off our data visualization theme, we held the MethodSpace webinar, Learn the essentials of data visualization, with SAGE authors (and data experts) Stephanie Evergreen and Andy Kirk on June 10th. Watch the recording and read the follow-up Q&A here to get an overview of their data visualization best practices.


Timothy Cribbin, left, and Phillip Brooker

Highlighting some other ways in which researchers are communicating their data, we published a Methods in Action post on visualizing social media data. In this post, social scientist Phillip Brooker and computer scientist Timothy Cribbin, describe how “even a 140-character Tweet can tell you a lot about peoples’ experiences with healthcare,” how their team were able to visualize these findings, and their takeaways for other researchers.


J. Mylynn Felt

Researchers should optimize their data design for social media-based research, but what can they do if they have too much data? This topic was addressed in a new Big Data & Society article, “Social media and the social sciences: How researchers employ Big Data.” We interviewed the author, Mylynn Felt, who explained how researchers can combine their traditional skills in qualitative methodology with newly available social media data analytics.

As with data visualization techniques, researchers also have a lot of new options to choose from when it comes selecting the right method of research. Based on the researcher feedback we’ve received at conferences across the globe, we identified seven top trends in research methods. See the shortlist below.

  1. Digital Qualitative Methods
  2. Online Interviews and Focus Groups
  3. Applied Anthropology methods, qualitative/ethnography
  4. Complexity theory
  5. The Intersections of Qualitative Research Practice with the Sciences
  6. Design-based research
  7. Critical Race Theory Approaches to Quantitative Methods

Contributing to the conversation around these issues, we selected 16 new articles on these topics from our journals and have made them freely accessible for a limited time. Find the articles here.


Janet Salmons

Expanding on the trend of digital qualitative methods, SAGE author and MethodSpace blogger Janet Salmon addressed tips for conducting empirical research online in our second webinar for the month. Watch the archived webinar here.

Like last month, there’s plenty to be excited about this July! We’re holding the webinar,

How to Turn Researchers into Research Managers on July 21st at 8am PDT/4pm BST. This webinar will feature Robert Dingwall, t69267_9781446203187he co-editor (with Mary Byrne McDonnell of the Social Science Research Council) of the new SAGE Handbook of Research Management, who will explain how research managers oversee research data, budgets, and teams. Reserve your spot to attend the webinar here, and check back on Connection and MethodSpace for some more insights into research methods this month.

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.




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