"The National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) forms part of the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) strategy to improve the standards of research methods across the UK social science community. NCRM was established in April 2004 with funding from the ESRC to provide more strategic integration and coordination of ESRC's investment in research methods.
NCRM provides a focal point for research, training and capacity building activities. These activities are aimed at promoting a step change in the quality and range of methodological skills and techniques used by the UK social science community, and providing support for, and dissemination of, methodological innovation and excellence within the UK."
"Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research."
Fig.1 Uploaded by Google on 6 Jan 2012
"Much current scholarship in the field of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, including my own, focuses on the actual performance of plays in their own or later periods, regarding the texts that survive as, in different ways, blueprints for performance, and exploring them in the context of their performance spaces, actors and theatre-practice and of other agencies such as audiences that impact upon those texts in performance. My own research in these areas is largely conducted through practice.
But let me just sketch a brief background. In 1998, a sea-change occurred in the lives of arts (as opposed to humanities) researchers in the UK, with the creation of the Arts & Humanities Research Board (now Council) which, for the first time, funded practice-led research in the creative arts. I cannot stress too heavily the impact this had on the landscape of research in the performing arts.
That's not to say, of course, that research through practice had not been conducted before then. If I take my own department at Bristol as an example, scholars such as Glynne Wickham, Richard Southern and Neville Denny were experimenting from the early 1950s by staging medieval and early modern plays, and using their findings in their published work.
But the arrival of the AHRB not only provided funding for practice-led research in the academy, but in so doing, confirmed it as being as valid and - not to be underestimated - as respectable as research conducted through more traditional or conventional means. And - a point to which I shall return - it opened up debates not only on how such research might most profitably be conducted, but how it might be disseminated in forms other than the books or journal articles that had predominated - and be disseminated, in fact, through the practice/performance itself."
"qualitative research first involves studying the meaning of people’s lives, under real-world conditions. People will be performing in their everyday roles or have expressed themselves through their own diaries, journals, writing, and even photography - entirely independent of any research inquiry. Social interactions will occur with minimal intrusion by artificial research procedures, and people will be saying what they want to say, not, for example, limited to responding to a researcher’s preestablished questionnaire. Likewise, people will not be inhibited by the confines of a laboratory or any laboratory-like setting. And they will not be represented by such statistical averages as the average American family having 3.18 persons (as of 2006) - which at once may represent accurately an entire population but in fact by definition does not speak to any single, real-life family.
Second, qualitative research differs because of its ability to represent the views and perspectives of the participants in a study. Capturing their perspectives may be a major purpose of a qualitative study. Thus, the events and ideas emerging from qualitative research can represent the meanings given to real-life events by the people who live them, not the values, preconceptions, or meanings held by researchers.
Third, qualitative research covers contextual conditions - the social, institutional, and environmental conditions within which people’s lives take place. In many ways, these contextual conditions may strongly influence all human events. However, the other social science methods (except for history) have difficulty in addressing these conditions.
Experiments, for instance, 'control out' these conditions (hence the artificiality of laboratory experiments). Quasi-experiments admit such conditions but by design nevertheless focus only on a limited set of 'variables,' which may or may not fully appreciate the contextual conditions. Similarly, surveys are constrained by the need to manage carefully the degrees of freedom required to analyze the responses to a set of survey questions; surveys are therefore limited in the number of questions devoted to any contextual conditions. History does address contextual conditions, but in its conventional form studies the 'dead past,' not ongoing events as in qualitative research (refer again to footnote 1 about oral history).
Fourth, qualitative research is not just a diary or chronicle of everyday life. Such a function would be a rather mundane version of real-world events. On the contrary, qualitative research is driven by a desire to explain these events, through existing or emerging concepts. For instance, one existing concept is Goffman’s (1963) stigma management. In his original work, stigma management largely pertained to adaptations by individual people. However, a contemporary qualitative study applied his typology and framework to a collective group, thereby offering new insights into how the actions of nation-states also might try to overcome their own historically stigmatizing events"
(Robert K. Yin, p.8,9)
1). Robert K. Yin (2011). "Qualitative Research from Start to Finish", The Guilford Press.
"Conventional research is couched in scientific inquiry, and as such is poorly placed to deal with the kinds of problems of relevance to design in a way that is meaningful to design. Broadening the scope of academic research around the notion of scholarship admits design inquiry as an alternative, valid form of research within itself. Scholarship does not denude research of method, evaluation, dissemination, etc., but rather expands the scope and form of valid research activity. It is now critical that effective procedures and protocols be instituted to avoid accusations that the new and emerging forms of scholarship are simply practice in some other guise. At the same time, design inquiry must not simply represent an inferior form of conventional research (where conventional research is measured primarily in terms of scientific inquiry). The question is then how scholarly design inquiry might provide the paradigm for such an alternative form of research: an alternative form of research grounded in practice. ...Design is presented here as a form of engagement with possibility: it is categorically not engaged in the discovery of underlying laws. More subtly perhaps, design is also not about limitless possibilities: it both proposes and configures."
(Tim Marshall & Sid Newton, University of Western Sydney, Australia)