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Research Methods for Social Sciences

An introduction to research design, methodology and library resources.

Introduction

As part of your research plan and design, you will select a data collection method to address your research problems. This page provides information on quantitative, qualitative, and combined methods.

If you are planning to use an exisiting dataset from other researcher or organization, visit the Finding Datasets guide for information of public datasets, data platforms available through the UNT Libraries, and analytic tools available to use directly from certain data providers.

Quantitative Data Collection

Quantitative methods to collect data involve measures and numerical information that can be further tested and analyzed with statistical methods. The most common forms of quantitative data collection methods are:

  • Experiments
  • Observation with instruments
  • Spatial data
  • Surveys with numerical scaled questions

Below are some resources from the UNT Libraries that provide guidance on quantitative data collection methods and sampling techniques commonly used in social science research.

Qualitative Data Collection

Qualitative data collection focuses on collecting information based on experience, thoughts, and feelings from your subjects or representations from artifacts in your discipline. The most common ways to collect qualitative data are:

  • Examining artifacts (e.g. text, documents, images, video, audio, objects)
  • Holding focus Group
  • Conducting interviews
  • Observing phenomena
  • Conducting surveys with open-ended questions

Below are some resources from the UNT Libraries that provide guidance on qualitative data collection methods and sampling techniques commonly used in social science research.

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