Resources

Scientific Concepts and Research Design

Developing Qualitative Research Questions: A Reflective Process

Uploaded 27 Jul 2017

The reflective and interrogative processes required for developing effective qualitative research questions can give shape and direction to a study in ways that are often underestimated. Good research questions do not necessarily produce good research, but poorly conceived or constructed questions will likely create problems that affect all subsequent stages of a study. In qualitative studies, the ongoing process of questioning is an integral part of understanding the unfolding lives and perspectives of others. This article addresses both the development of initial research questions and how the processes of generating and refining questions are critical to the shaping of a qualitative study.

Scientific Concepts and Research Design

MDGs: Progress Made in Health

Uploaded 26 Jul 2017

2015 was the final year for the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – goals set by governments in 2000 to guide global efforts to end poverty. Progress towards the MDGs has, on the whole, been remarkable and many global progress records have been set. Globally, the HIV, TB and malaria epidemics were turned around, child mortality and maternal mortality dropped significantly (53% and 45% respectively since 1990) though fell short of the MDG targets.

Scientific Concepts and Research Design

Study Advice – Undertaking a Literature Review

Uploaded 26 Jul 2017

This website provides study guides for students, including how to undertake a literature review tutorials.

Scientific Concepts and Research Design

Medical Literature Searching Skills – How to Apply PICO

Uploaded 26 Jul 2017

This page provides interactive examples on how to apply the PICO method.

Scientific Concepts and Research Design

Medical Literature Searching Skills – "PICO examples"

Uploaded 26 Jul 2017

This page uses examples to formulate questions using the PICO method (Population/patient-Intervention/indicator-Comparator/control-Outcome) and provides exercises to practise. 

Scientific Concepts and Research Design

How Does My Research Question Come About? The Impact of Funding Agencies in Formulating Research Questions

Uploaded 26 Jul 2017

Tarrozzi compares the methodological impact of different types of funding agency, particularly on the formulation of the research question itself.

Scientific Concepts and Research Design

6 (Very Useful!) Approaches to Identify Research Gaps and Generate Research Questions

Uploaded 26 Jul 2017

Researchers, particularly those pursuing Master’s or PhD often find it difficult to identify the gaps in the body of knowledge in their own chosen fields. Identifying gaps and generating research questions can be regarded as the first and most important step in writing a research paper. Of course there are many approaches for overcoming this difficulty, but finding original and innovative topics, and distinguishing gaps in the literature is never an easy feat. There are different approaches to employ and not all researchers, especially younger ones, are aware of them. 

Scientific Concepts and Research Design

V-C: "Knowledge for Knowledge’s Sake" is Piffle

Uploaded 26 Jul 2017

For at least a millennium, the notion of knowledge for knowledge’s sake has helped to justify scholarly activity and universities themselves. But one vice-chancellor says that this is no better than advocating eating “spinach for its own sake” and calls on the sector to “modernise” the arguments for its existence.

Scientific Concepts and Research Design

Research Questions, Hypotheses and Objectives

Uploaded 26 Jul 2017

There is an increasing familiarity with the principles of evidence-based medicine in the surgical community. As surgeons become more aware of the hierarchy of evidence, grades of recommendations and the principles of critical appraisal, they develop an increasing familiarity with research design. Surgeons and clinicians are looking more and more to the literature and clinical trials to guide their practice; as such, it is becoming a responsibility of the clinical research community to attempt to answer questions that are not only well thought out but also clinically relevant. The development of the research question, including a supportive hypothesis and objectives, is a necessary key step in producing clinically relevant results to be used in evidence-based practice. A well-defined and specific research question is more likely to help guide us in making decisions about study design and population and subsequently what data will be collected and analyzed.

Scientific Concepts and Research Design

Non-Cardiovascular Effects Associated With Statins

Uploaded 26 Jul 2017

Statins form the pharmacologic cornerstone of the primary and secondary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. In addition to beneficial cardiovascular effects, statins seem to have multiple non-cardiovascular effects. Currently, systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines indicate that the cardiovascular benefits of statins generally outweigh non-cardiovascular harms in patients above a certain threshold of cardiovascular risk. Literature is also accumulating on the potential non-cardiovascular benefits of statins, which could lead to novel applications of this class of drug in the future.