Research Methods Blog 3
My Search Process by Sam Steven
You must describe your search process including the creation of your search query, databases accessed, and sources found, and information quality.
Prior to starting this paper I was relatively unfamiliar with the research process; in particular the specific guidelines or processes recommended employing when researching a foreign topic or hypothesis. Due to my unfamiliarity with this concept along with my living/travelling situation at the start of the year I found it reasonably difficult to pick up and understand the concept of what was required of me.
Travelling from Auckland via Taupo to Wanaka and Dunedin at the beginning of March meant a later course start date. This created more problems than perhaps I had anticipated. I had limited access to the internet and was therefore not up to date with feeds, emails and elluminate sessions. My mind was focused heavily on ironman and when I tried to allocate time to study I was not very efficient. This led to me falling further behind and I would stress about how much work I had to catch up on. Often, I wasn’t aware of what I was supposed to do or how to go about it and due to not being near a computer I was unable to get immediate clarification.
I have been a little restricted by way of resources by not having access to the Student libraries in Dunedin whist living in Wanaka however have made do with internet and access to some of my fathers books on law, mediation and negotiation. I guess this has helped illustrate to me the importance of sourcing quality information across a wider spectrum as opposed to only the fields I am exposed to related to this course.
I have realized how in previous research based assessments how the work I did could have been improved had I used the research process we have learned so far. I would have collected and analyzed more material, analyzed it more thoroughly and used references more accurately. I guess in general I never really took enough time to sit down and do things as thoroughly as perhaps I should have.
Godfrey (1991) states “Sometimes the correct data are not collected. The right answer can’t be found because companies don’t have the necessary data-much less the correct information. In other cases, the data are available, but no one has “tortured the data until it confesses.” Sometimes organizations do the correct analyses, getting exactly what they need. But sometimes they fail to act.”
Key areas I have been employing in my search thus far include:
- To identify relevant pieces of information by searching titles with significance to my topic – this could be by identifying key words or phrases in the title itself, recognizing the author/publisher or the date of publish
- Collecting as much relevant material as possible to analyze as opposed to the first several I come upon which is a method I would usually have used. I have tried to collect from a range of sources with a variety of differing views on the topic.
- Analyzing information by searching its content for amount of relevant information, its accessibility, credibility based upon, date, references used and clarity.
- Developing my referencing in accordance of the APA referencing style.
For the collaborative research project our groups hypothesis is “How many massage sessions would it take to reduce sudden onset of chronic pain symptoms?” the hypothesis was refined from an idea during one of the early elluminate sessions.
As per any collaborative task personal commitments of group members need to be considered. I guess the fact that I am mainly based in Wanaka creates implications. For example I was unable to attend the recent group meeting. Thankfully I was able to obtain notes on the meeting which detailed the tasks which we need to address.
I have a vague familiarity with our hypothesis as it explores some similar avenues to the thesis my partner has been working on for the past 6-8 months as part of her degree in Osteopathy. I will therefore be able to use her knowledge as an avenue of information in order to get a better understanding of chronic pain and how to analyze and research our hypothesis.
Other sources I expect to find useful include the internet, Bill Robertson and Central libraries, General Practitioners, physiotherapists, chiropractors, psychologists and other health practitioners.
Godfrey, A. (1991). Quality management. Retrieved 2nd April 2009 from