Frank Rennie & Keith Smyth

Chapter 4 – Evaluation of research

All the content relating to the chapter above is below

What do we mean by evaluation, and why is it important in research? In the short chapter that follows, we introduce the idea of evaluation as a process which seeks to determine the value of a piece of work. This involves identifying and selecting targets, goals and standards against which the success of your research project and findings can be gauged. The companion website illustrates some examples of practice.

Coverall – intro, design, data, presenting… An online handbook produced by the University of Surrey to give students an introduction to research.

A link to an extensive set of notes from the University of Surrey dealing with the whole process of documenting research. It starts with a consideration of why we do research, works through a range of planning issues that need to be considered, and concludes with a section on how research result might be utilised. Contains some embedded links.

The contents are well-defined and easy to read, in short, informative sub-sections. Not all of the sections will be appropriate to every research project, so students will need to use their own judegement, but taken as a whole, the document gives a good overview of the kinds of issues which students need to consider when preparing a research dissertation.

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university of surrey importance pilot studies - Introduction to research - handbook

A set of short dissertation writing videos from Massey University with resources for students.

These are helpfully broken-up into separate tasks, such as preparing a proposal, writing a report, editing, and so on. Each video clip gives a general overview and some guidance for students to help manage the selected task.

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massey university dissertation videos - Dissertation videos from Massey University

This links to an assemblage of video clips relating to various aspects of research and the preparation of research reports.

Individual videos deal with different forms of research, evaluation, and project planning. The clips range from 30 minutes to an hour each, so you may wish to watch them in stages, or allow time to watch, pause, and take notes. Different videos will be appropriate to different subject matter, so you may want to discuss your initial options with your supervisor before you invest time learning a research method which is not suitable for the topic of your study.

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Educational Videos YouTube - Research and the preparation of research reports (by Dr Sam Fiala)

A guide to research evaluation frameworks and tools

By Susan Guthrie, Watu Wamae, Stephanie Diepeveen, Steven Wooding, Jonathan Grant.

Openly available e-book (available online or to download) which addresses how to evaluate the value and impact of research. This text was commissioned by the Association of American Medical Colleges, to inform their own work, but has useful general material especially in Chapter 2 – Challenges and trade-offs in research evaluation.

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RAND corporation research evaluation frameworks 150x150 - Measuring research

Finding and evaluating research sources

From the online textbook ‘Methods of discovery: a guide to research writing’ by Pavel Zemliansky, Ph.D.

Includes a clear explanation of the difference between primary and secondary sources, and good advice on making the most of the print and online library facilities you have access to.

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methods of discovery 150x150 - Finding and evaluating research sources

Research Evaluation is an interdisciplinary journal covering the emerging methods, experiences and lessons for appraising and evaluating research.

An online archive of issues dating back to 1991. Within the range of interesting papers you will find in the journal, there is a strong likelihood of finding papers that relate in some way to your own research discipline area.

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oxford university press research evaluation 150x150 - Journal – Research Evaluation

Interactive content which includes a chapter on evaluating resources.

Rutgers RIOT (Research Information Online Tutorial) is a useful animated tutorial from Rutgers University. If the animated format works for you – or if you can work with the format – you will find here good practical guidance in areas including: selecting a topic; finding sources; selecting keywords; identifying citations; and evaluating sources.

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RUTGERS research information online tutorial 150x150 - Rutgers - Research Information Online Tutorial