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Nursing: RESEARCH in the SCIENCES

Nurses "are guided by an ethical & humanitarian philosophy in which every human being deserves respect, regardless of racial, social, cultural, sexual, economic, religious, or other factors." (Mosby, Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, & Health Professions)

PRIMARY RESEARCH ARTICLES in the SCIENCES

Identifying PRIMARY or ORIGINAL Research


Identifying Original

or Primary Researc
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Articles appearing in scholarly journals will appear in the forms of:

  • Interviews
  • Expert opinion
  • News
  • Book reviews, and
  • Original or primary research - articles reporting on and stating new research findings, which include:
    • Experiments
    • Questionnaires
    • Phone interviews
    • Surveys
    • Interviews
    • Direct observation (observational studies)
    • clinical trials or interventional studies
  • Secondary research or desk research – articles stating a synopsis and/or review of existing research, which come in the forms of:
    • literature reviews
    • systematic reviews
    • Government and Non-Governmental Organizational statistics
    • meta-analyses

To identify primary research, look for the following:

  • A section providing details of the methodology or method – detailing the specific procedures and techniques  undertaken in the research process
  • A section providing details of sample collection to be studied, or details of recruitment of research subjects
  • A section providing details of the systematic collection of data
  • A section providing details of data analysis
  • A literature review, detailing an overview of the current state of knowledge on the topic. (this is not the purpose of the article, it is only a part of the paper, which puts the research in context of other research on the topic)
  • A section for the conclusion
  • A section on recommendations for future research on the topic (not always present)
  • A section for references or works cited

Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research

*What is Quantitative Research?   

According to Burns and Grove (2005), "Quantitative research is a formal, objective, systematic process in which numerical data are used to obtain information about the world. This research method is used to describe variables, to examine relationships among variables, and to determine cause-and-effect interactions between variables.' (p. 23)

Burns N, Grove SK (2005) The Practice of Nursing Research: Conduct, Critique, and Utilization (5th Ed.). St. Louis, Elsevier.


Quantitative Research is defined as the systematic empirical investigation of social phenomena via statistical, mathematical or computational techniques. Its objective is to develop and employ mathematical models, theories and/or hypotheses pertaining to phenomena. At its core, quantitative research is used to identify patterns and predict behavior.  This type of research is used in business, marketing and in the social sciences such as psychology, economics, sociology, and political science.

Quantitative research is generally conducted using scientific methods, which can include:

 The generation of models, theories and hypotheses

 The development of instruments and methods for measurement

 Experimental control and manipulation of variables

 Collection of empirical data

 Modeling and analysis of data 
 
What is Qualitative Research? 

According to Mosby's Dictionary of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, qualitative research is, "The method of investigation that includes patient interviews and detailed case studies.  Extensively used in the nursing profession, the method is increasingly used in the primary care setting."

Qualitative Research is the examination, analysis and interpretation of observations for the purpose of discovering underlying meanings and patterns of relationships, including classifications of types of phenomena and entities, in a manner that does not involve mathematical models. For example, in the social sciences, qualitative research methods are often used to gain better understanding of such things as intentionality (from the speech response of the researchee) and meaning (why did this person/group say something and what did it mean to them?). 

This research asks broad questions and collects word data from participants. Qualitative methods produce information only on the particular cases studied, and any more general conclusions are only hypotheses. Unlike quantitative methods which are used to identify patterns and make predictions, qualitative research aims to explain behavior.

Qualitative researchers aim to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern it. The qualitative method investigates the why and how of behavior, not just what, where, when. Hence, smaller but focused samples are more often needed than the large samples required of quantitative methods.

Qualitative researchers typically rely on the following methods for gathering information: Participant Observation, Non-participant Observation, Field Notes, Reflexive Journals, Structured Interview, Semi-structured Interview, Unstructured Interview, and Analysis of documents and materials. 

 The Following Are Some Examples of Qualitative Approaches Used in Collecting Data: 
• Storytelling

• Classical Ethnography

• Interviews (phone or in-person)

• Focus Group discussions 

In a focus group, a group of people are asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs and attitudes experiences, etc. It is conducted in an interactive group setting where participants are free to talk with each other. 

Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research

Qualitative Research is the examination, analysis and interpretation of observations for the purpose of discovering underlying meanings and patterns of relationships, including classifications of types of phenomena and entities, in a manner that does not involve mathematical models.

For example, in the social sciences, qualitative research methods are often used to gain better understanding of such things as intentionality (from the speech response of the researchee) and meaning (why did this person/group say something and what did it mean to them?).

Unlike quantitative methods which are used to identify patterns and make predictions, qualitative research aims to explain behavior.

Qualitative researchers aim to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern it.

An example of a qualitative research interview at a facility where the respondents and interviewer can be seen from a 2-way mirror.


Mixed methods

Mixed methods of research will use a combination of both qualitative and quantitative techniques.

 

*The above information on Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods is courtesy of Boundless by Creative Commons License CC BY_SA 4.0. “Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research.”
Boundless Marketing. Boundless, 21 Jul. 2015. Retrieved 12 Feb. 2016 from https://www.boundless.com/marketing/textbooks/boundlessmarketing-textbook/consumer-marketing-4/introduction-to-consumers-33/quantitative-vs-qualitative-research-1754086/