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Futures studies: Doing research

Research support

Characteristics of research

1.       Research originates with a question or problem

2.       Research requires clear articulation of goal

3.       Research requires a specific plan for proceeding

4.       Research usually divides the principal problem into more manageable subproblems

5.       Research is guided by the specific research problem, question, or hypothesis

6.       Research accepts certain critical assumptions

7.       Research requires the collection and interpretation of data in an attempt to resolve the problem that initiated the research

8.       Research is, by its nature, cyclical or, more exactly, helical

Leedy, P.D. & Ormond, J.E. 2010. Practical research: planning and design. 9th ed. Pearson: Boston

Research books

Research process

Step 1: Develop a topic

Step 2: Locate information

Step 3: Evaluate information

Step 4: Use information

Step 5: Legal/Ethical use of information

Search strategy for online databases

Boolean searching is the traditional way to search for information in most online databases and on the Internet. Boolean operators or connector words, such as AND, OR, and NOT, are used to create phrases and concepts based on specific rules of search logic.  

Google search strategy

Results will typically include each word or punctuation mark included in the search query. Keep search queries simple and descriptive and use as few terms as possible.

Google automatically truncates search terms. To prevent automatic truncation, use a + sign in front of each term.

Use double quotations marks ("") to search terms as a phrase and narrow your results. Google will only retrieve results that have those exact terms in the exact order typed.

To allow for either of several words to appear in your results, use the OR operator. The operator must be in all caps.

Use the site: feature to limit your results to a specific website or class of websites.  A query on cloning site:.gov will only retrieve results within the government domain.