Wednesday, November 3, 2010
We are adding new content to our Sage Reference Online database this autumn. And one of the recent adds is a fairly unusual resource called the Encyclopedia of Research Design. The 3 volume set self-describes as "a collection of entries written by scholars in the field of research design, the discipline of how to plan and conduct empirical research, including the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods."
Entries cover everything from "Chi-Square Test" to "Krippendorff's Alpha" to "Semipartial Correlation Coefficient" to "Zelen's Randomized Consent Design." Not all topics are quite so esoteric, of course. Want to read an essay on the "Case Study" technique? You can do that here. And this encyclopedia also has a couple of useful entries that help explain the differences between "Qualitative Research" and "Quantitative Research." Editors point to "two topics [that] are especially interesting and set this collection of volumes apart from similar works: (1) a review of important research articles that have been seminal in the field and have helped determine the direction of several ideas and (2) a review of popular tools (such as software) used to analyze results."
As with all Sage eReference, you can do a quick search and see entries that relate, or you can browse through an A-Z presentation of entries. As you read one essay, a list of "See Also" entries will be listed in the left the frame, offering other articles to peruse. And below that, you'll even see cross-links to other Sage eReference titles that might be worth exploring. In the left side frame there are tools to format for printing, email, or create a citation, too.
Research Design is a complex matter. The over 500 entries included in this encyclopedia are only a starting place. But for a short introduction to a variety of complicated concepts, this resource might be quite useful.