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The part of a primary research article that comes after the Title and before the Introduction. It is the job of the Abstract to provide a short review of the article, following specific rules and conventions.

ACM Digital Library

The ACM Digital Library is an online database of articles and papers from journals, magazines, conference proceedings and newsletters published by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). It covers topics related to computer science and information technology. The library provides access to over 2 million articles and other resources from more than 50 years of content. Users can search for specific keywords or browse through different categories to find relevant materials.

Action Research

A form of Qualitative Research that emphasizes working with participants to bring about specific improvements.

Active Learning

A teaching and learning approach that “engages students in the process of learning through activities and/or discussion in class, as opposed to passively listening to an expert. It emphasizes higher-order thinking and often involves group work.” (Freeman 2014)



A systematic process of examining and/or testing Data. It is usually grounded in the Research Questions.


Shorthand for "analysis of variance." An Inferential Statistics technique designed to test if there are differences among three or more Treatment groups.

Applied Research

Research targeted to address specific practical issues or problems. As opposed to Basic Research.


A coherent set of claims to support asking a Research Question. These arguments can either set up the question, support the question, or both set up and support the question.

Asynchronous Instruction

Asynchronous instruction is the idea that students learn similar material at different times and locations. The term is often associated with online learning where students complete readings, assignments, or activities at their own pace and at their own chosen time.  This approach is particularly useful when students are spread across different time zones or may have limited access to technology.


Authentic Assessment

Assessments in which student learners demonstrate learning by applying their knowledge to authentic, complex, real-world tasks or simulations. Proponents of authentic assessment argue that these types of knowledge checks “help students rehearse for the complex ambiguities of the ‘game’ of adult and professional life” (Wiggins, 1990, p.1).

Further Resources:

  • Authentic Assessment. Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, Indiana University Bloomington.
  • Wiggins, G. (1998). Ensuring authentic performance. Educative assessment: Designing assessments to inform and improve student performance. Jossey-Bass, p. 21-42.



A specialized form of Ethnography that combines ethnographic and autobiographical techniques.


Basic Research

Research conducted to advance knowledge in general, or to satisfy the curiosity of the researcher. As opposed to Applied Research.


Rarely found in Research Articles. A bibliography lists all sources that were useful in creating the article, whether those sources were cited or not. Most often, we find articles using a References section, where actually cited sources are listed.


this is blended learning. 


Books are defined as specialist books which offer an overview, such as text books (course books) for university studies, or books where the author pursues a theory of his or her own. Often books like this include an introductory chapter, providing a good overview of the subject. You can also find useful references to earlier research and original articles. However, you should always keep in mind that it usually takes quite a long period of time to write and publish a book, so certain facts may have become outdated.

Some academic publishers specialize in volumes with chapters written by prominent researchers within the field. Contributions are selected, compiled and reviewed by an editor or sent out to be reviewed by other scholars within the same field.

Note: the above content is directly quoted from the University Library Guides offered by the University Library at Jönköping University


Case Study

A type of Qualitative Research method where a small number of people or situations, sometimes even only one person or situation, is examined in great depth.

Central Tendency

One property of Distributions that is examined in Descriptive Statistics. Central Tendency describes the ways that scores in a distribution cluster around some middle point. Common measures of Central Tendency include the Mode, Median, and Mean.


A statistical technique designed to compare expected and actually observed frequencies, to see if there are any differences between these two categories.


The part of the research article that follows the Results. In the conclusion, results are summarized, explained, implications are examined, and/or future research is suggested.

Conference proceedings

When researchers participate in conferences, it is with the purpose of presenting their research to colleagues within the same field, often internationally. The papers they produce for the conference are published in conference proceedings which are similar to books or anthologies. Like reports, conference proceedings can provide a good overview of current research.

Note: the above content is directly quoted from the University Library Guides offered by the University Library at Jönköping University

Confidence Error

Another name for a Type I Error, where the statistical test is too lenient and so the results cannot be trusted. Is also called a False Positive.


A measurement that never changes its value. As opposed to Variable.


A philosophical position adopted by some qualitative researchers. In its most radical form, constructivism argues that there is no inherent knowledge in the world, but that we create all knowledge. Less radical forms argue that we co-create certain kinds of knowledge in social situations.

Consumer of Research

A person who has no intention or need of becoming a researcher but who needs to know how to read and understand research reports and articles. As such people become more skilled and literate in research, they become Research Critics.

Convenience Sample

A type of Sample where Participants who are readily available are used. One of the weakest and least systematic types of Samples.


A statistical test where two variables are compared on a pair-by-pair basis. A positive correlation indicates a strong direct relationship, a negative correlation indicates a strong inverse relationship, and a zero correlation indicates no relationship.

Critical Theory

A type of Theory most often found in Qualitative Research, where hidden Ideologies are uncovered and consciousness of their effects are raised.



Plural of Datum; a collection of measurements or information used in a research study. Data that have been collected but not yet analyzed are called Raw Data.


A single piece of information, or a single measurement. Rarely used; most often discussed in the plural form as Data.

Dependent Variable

Usually found in Experimental or Quasi-Experimental Designs, the Variable that changes as the result of the treatment. Sometimes used in any Quantitative Research study that looks at the impact of different effects. As opposed to an Independent Variable.

Descriptive Statistics

That branch of Statistics that looks at Distributions, especially in terms of Central Tendency and Dispersion. As opposed to Inferential Statistics.


DET is acronym for digital and educational technologies.

See example in this article.



The branch of scientific philosophy that says that the laws of science are absolute. Now mostly discredited and abandoned.


The part of a Primary Article where Results and Findings are summarized and examined, unusual aspects are explained, implications are laid out, and possible future research is described.


One property of Distributions that is examined in Descriptive Statistics. Dispersion describes the ways that scores in a distribution systematically spread out from some middle point. Common measures of Dispersion include the Range and the Standard Deviation.

Dissertation / Thesis

Dissertations are written by postgraduate students to get a licentiate or doctoral degree. The purpose of a dissertation is for students to prove that they know the earlier research within the discipline, master the area of research methodology, and can also contribute with new knowledge within the specific topic they write about. Therefore, dissertations also serve as very good overviews of earlier research and provide the reader with extensive reference lists. Sometimes, a dissertation consists of several articles that have been published in journals plus a comprehensive summary. These are called summary dissertations.

Student theses are written by university students, usually on the level of bachelor or master. Student theses do not carry the scientific weight of licentiate and doctoral dissertations, but they may also provide you with suggestions for other references, methodology and working methods within the field.

Note: the above content is directly quoted from the University Library Guides offered by the University Library at Jönköping University


In Statistics, a set of scores most often described by their Central Tendency and Dispersion. A Distribution can describe either a Sample or a Population.


Ecological Validity

A type of Validity particularly important in Qualitative Research where the Data and the research efforts are true to life and realistic.


A basic aspect of human culture, where people teach and learn from each other. The formal style of education is called schooling.

Educational Research

A form of research that studies how people teach and learn in formal and informal settings.

educational transformation

Educational transformation refers to systemic changes in the prevailing educational model. Distinguishing itself from the theories that defend reforms or renovations of some elements of the model, maintaining the substance of the traditional teaching and learning process, and its organization and structure.

Source: IGI global


Elearning refers to the use of Internet technologies to deliver instruction.




​Encyclopedias define concepts, which means they can provide a good introduction to a subject. There are both general and subject specific encyclopedias. Encyclopedia entries may also contain selected references for further reading.

Note: the above content is directly quoted from the University Library Guides offered by the University Library at Jönköping University



ET is acronym of educational transformation.

See for example in this article.



A Qualitative Research method where researchers immerse themselves in a particular cultural setting in order to understand it better. Most often researchers use Participant Observation strategies to gather Data. Special forms of ethnography include Autoethnography and Micro-ethnography.


A type of empirical activity similar to research where the evaluator seeks to determine if a set of promised or described settings or activities match the reality of the situation.

Experimental Design

A type of Research Design where all factors except for a treatment effect are controlled so as to isolate the impact of that treatment.

Experimenter Effects

An error in Quantitative Research where the experimenter himself or herself has a systematic impact on the Participants or process.


Factor Analysis

A particular type of model building in Quantitative Research where related variables are combined to create higher-order explanatory factors.


A principle in scientific research that states that any finding is not certain, no matter how solid the evidence so far, and could end up being proven wrong.

False Negative

Another name for a Power Error, where the statistical test is too stringent and so significant results cannot be identified. Is also called a Type II Error.

False Positive

Another name for a Confidence Error, where the statistical test is too lenient and so the results cannot be trusted. Is also called a Type I Error.


Another name for Results; sometimes the term Findings is used to describe Results from less controlled settings and field-oriented research.

Focus Group

A research strategy in Qualitative Research where six to eight Participants are asked a systematic number of questions to get at both individual and group understandings.



The ability to extend a particular set of procedures or findings to a larger group than the given set of Participants or conditions for a given study.


What the researcher is hoping to accomplish in the research study. Related to the Purpose.

Grounded Theory

A specialized form of Qualitative Research where the researcher starts with no preconceptions and builds Theory by collecting Data from the ground up.


Halo Effect

A source of systematic error in Quantitative Research where change of any kind tends to affect results in a positive way.


In this context, handbooks are defined as publications that provide theoretical overviews rather than practical instructions. Handbooks contain collections of chapters which cover a certain subject area or field. They can provide you with an introduction, the theories that are used within the research, and its most important authors, as well as good reference lists of the most important contributions to the field.

Handbooks explain the various terms used within the specific field. Therefore, handbooks provide a shortcut to important original sources.

Note: the above content is directly quoted from the University Library Guides offered by the University Library at Jönköping University


HEI refers to higher education institution.


Literally, the art of reading and interpreting texts. Modified in Qualitative Research as a way of interpreting Data and Patterns of Data as if they were texts.


In Quantitative Research, a claim systematically derived from the Research Question that is tested to see whether it is true or not.



In Critical Theory, a set of unexamined but systematic beliefs that affect our behaviors without us being aware of them.

Illuminative Research Design

A type of Qualitative Research where the researcher is looking for new ways to understand some puzzling situation or phenomenon.


Often found in Conclusions sections of articles, these are discussions of what the Findings might mean when we look at the bigger picture.

Independent Variable

In an Experimental Design, the Variable that the researcher changes in order to create different levels of the treatment. In a Quasi-Experimental Design, this Variable is not under the strict control of the researcher, but changes in a systematic manner anyway. As opposed to a Dependent Variable.

Inferential Statistics

That branch of Statistics that looks at making decisions about whether or not two or more groups are significantly different from one another. As opposed to Descriptive Statistics.


The act of systematically looking at situations, phenomena, results, or findings in order to make sense of them.

Interpretive Research Design

A type of Qualitative Research where the researcher is seeking to look at some situation or phenomenon from a different type of systematic viewpoint.


Intervention can refer to a variety of actions taken to address a problem or issue. In the context of education, it often refers to targeted efforts aimed at improving student learning and achievement. These interventions may involve additional instruction, support services, or other resources designed to help students overcome academic challenges. The goal of an intervention is typically to identify and address the root causes of a problem in order to improve outcomes for students.


A Qualitative Research technique where Participants are asked to answer questions and provide information orally. Can be either structured interview, unstructured interview or semi-structured interview.


The beginning part of a research article, where the researchers lay out their Purpose, Goals, Research Questions, and Arguments.

Investigative Research Design

A type of Qualitative Research where the researcher is seeking to dig deeper into a situation or phenomenon in order to find something new or previously less well understood.


Journal articles

Journal articles are published in different kinds of periodicals, such as trade magazines or scholarly journals. They are usually shorter compared to other scientific publications, such as research reports. 

In most fields, scholarly journal articles are considered to have the highest scientific value of all publication types. One reason for this is that before journal articles are published, they are reviewed by other researchers within the same discipline. This process is called 'peer review'.

Bear in mind that the time between writing an article and when it is published can take up to two years, so some facts may become outdated.

There are different types of scholarly articles:

  • Original articles present research results (in the form of empirical studies) for the first time.
  • Review articles are critical evaluations of other previously published studies. These can also take the form of a meta-analysis in which the results of a number of studies are used to answer a question, such as what is the recommended way to treat a certain disease.
  • Theoretical articles aim at developing new theories based on existing research.

A peer-reviewed original article usually follows a specific layout, including the following elements.


In an abstract, a short summary of the article is provided, presenting the aim, method, results and conclusions of the article. Keywords are also provided to help identify the contents of the article.


An article usually starts with a general background. The aim and research questions are presented as well as the limits of the study.


In the method section, the methodology, and in some cases the material used, are described. The description provided should be detailed enough so that other researchers will be able to assess the reliability and credibility of the study and be able to repeat the research.


The research results are accounted for in this section. Diagrams and tables may also be included.


In this section, the results of the study are evaluated. Methodological considerations and how the results relate to earlier research are discussed. ​


All cited documents included in the article must be found in the reference list.

Note: the above content is directly quoted from the University Library Guides offered by the University Library at Jönköping University 


learning analytics

Learning analytics is a technique that uses data analysis to improve teaching and learning practices in online learning environments.

learning strategy

A learning strategy is an individual’s way of organizing and using a particular set of skills in order to learn content or accomplish other tasks more effectively and efficiently in school as well as in non-academic settings (Schumaker & Deshler, 1992). (Source)


Generally speaking, the ability to read. Most often used to describe the art of reading skillfully.

Literature Review

That part of an article where prior research is presented to support the Research Argument and shape the Research Question.


Material Analysis

A type of Qualitative Research that looks at such things as documents, records, cultural artifacts, and other products of material culture.


The measure of Central Tendency known as the average score. The Mean is an important concept in both Descriptive and Inferential Statistics.


The central focus of Qualitative Research. As a researcher grasps the meaning of things, then insight and understanding follow.


The systematic process of determining values of Variables.


The measure of Central Tendency that divides the Distribution into two equal halves. Also called the middle score.


A meta-analysis is a statistical analysis that combines the results of multiple scientific studies. Meta-analyses can be performed when there are multiple scientific studies addressing the same question, with each individual study reporting measurements that are expected to have some degree of error. The aim then is to use approaches from statistics to derive a pooled estimate closest to the unknown common truth based on how this error is perceived. It is thus a basic methodology of Metascience. Meta-analytic results are considered the most trustworthy source of evidence by the evidence-based medicine literature.



Another name for that part of the article that discusses Procedures and other logistical issues. Sometimes called Procedures.


A specialized form of Ethnography where the researcher conducts a narrowly focused study over a short period of time.

Mixed-Methods Research

A fairly new type of research where Qualitative and Quantitative Research methods are systematically combined.


The measure of Central Tendency that describes the most common score.

Multiple Regression

A specialized form of Regression where more than one predictor Variable is used.


Narrative Analysis

A specialized research method in Qualitative Research that looks at the dynamics and characteristics of stories and story-like types of Data.


A branch of philosophy that says that complex things are built out of simple things. An important source of ideas for both science and Quantitative Research.

Normal Distribution

The most important type of distribution in Educational Research. When a Distribution is normal, then the Mean and Standard Deviation are related to each other in important systematic ways. It is also symmetrical, which indicates the Variable being measured is also systematic. Represented visually as the Normal Curve or sometimes the Bell Curve.

Null Hypothesis

The type of Hypothesis most often used in Inferential Statistics. When the Null Hypothesis is used, the researcher is actually testing the likelihood that the Null Hypothesis ought to be accepted. When that is shown to be highly unlikely, the actual Hypothesis is then accepted.



A standard of scientific research where the researcher seeks to avoid any personal bias from interfering with the research per se.


A systematic use of our senses, primarily visual, in research. Particularly important in Qualitative Research.

Online Learning Environment

An online learning environment refers to a virtual platform where students can access educational resources and interact with instructors and peers remotely.


In our scheme of understanding articles, the first few sentences or the first paragraph of the article.


A process found in Quantitative Research where the meanings of concepts are defined in terms of the operations used to measure them.

Oral History

A type of specialized series of Interviews where one or more informants are questioned in depth about their experiences and perceptions concerning an extended period of time.



The P value is defined as the probability under the assumption of no effect or no difference (null hypothesis), of obtaining a result equal to or more extreme than what was actually observed. The P stands for probability and measures how likely it is that any observed difference between groups is due to chance. 

  • Being a probability, P can take any value between 0 and 1 (0 ≤ p ≤ 1). 
  • Values close to 0 indicate that the observed difference is unlikely to be due to chance.
  • When P value is close to 1, it suggests no difference between the groups other than due to chance. 

Thus, it is common in medical journals to see adjectives such as “highly significant” or “very significant” after quoting the P value depending on how close to zero the value is.(Source)

The p-value is widely used in statistical hypothesis testing, specifically in null hypothesis significance testing. In this method, before conducting the study, one first chooses a model (the null hypothesis) and the alpha level α (most commonly 0.05). After analyzing the data, if the p-value is less than α, that is taken to mean that the observed data is sufficiently inconsistent with the null hypothesis for the null hypothesis to be rejected. However, that does not prove that the null hypothesis is false. The p-value does not, in itself, establish probabilities of hypotheses. Rather, it is a tool for deciding whether to reject the null hypothesis. (Source)


A description of the characteristics of a Population.

Participant Observation

A technique in Qualitative Research where the researcher not only observes a particular natural setting, but gets involved in that setting to some degree.


The currently accepted term for describing people who are involved in a study. It replaces the older term Subjects.

Participatory Research Design

A type of Qualitative Research where the researcher is actually involved in the research process, usually seeking to improve matters or conditions.

Path Analysis

A specialized form of model building in Quantitative Research, where relations among Variables are lined up along some kind of meaningful time framework.


Systematic and meaningful groupings of Data, most often found in Qualitative Research.

Peer Review

A process used in journals that publish Primary Articles where a submitted article is sent to two or more experts in the field for a blind evaluation (where the reviewers do not know the names of the researchers who wrote the article).

Note: the following content is directly quoted from the University Library Guides offered by the University Library at Jönköping University

Within academia it is common practice to inspect texts before publication, from student essays to scholarly journal articles. This review process differs based on the type of text and publication. The most comprehensive and esteemed version of review is called peer review.

Peer review is used by journals that are known as academic, scholarly or scientific. These journals have a board of referees (or reviewers) who are experts and experienced researchers within their respective field. They evaluate the quality of the submitted articles based on scientific rigor, content and language. Together with the journal editor, they also judge whether the article fits within the subject area of the journal. The result of the review determines if the article is accepted for publication, if the authors are encouraged to revise the text or if the article is rejected.

Publishing articles according to the peer review procedure is required for a journal to be considered scientific. In order to avoid bias, the author and referee of the article are blinded to one another, i.e. their identity is kept anonymous.

Journals with a peer review system may include either refereed articles exclusively or a mix of refereed and non-refereed articles. Non-refereed articles might include book reviews, debate articles or commentaries.


Perspective refers to: a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view. 

Researcher Perspective refers to the viewpoint of a particular stakeholder in the relevant domain, which is adopted by the researcher as the viewpoint from which to observe phenomena during the conduct of a research project. That description implicitly assumes that researchers always adopt just a single perspective. (Source)


A branch of philosophy that says our perceptions and our thoughts about things we experience are intermingled. In Qualitative Research, Phenomenological methods look at our opinions and awareness of phenomena.


Another name for the entire group of people or things to be studied or measured. Most often, we draw a Sample from that Population to study instead.


A specialized type of Case Study, most often used in Qualitative Research, where a systematic and compelling artistically rendered picture of a Participant or group is rendered.


In certain Research Designs, a measurement you take after the treatment that will then be compared to the Pretest score.

Power Error

Another name for a Type II Error, where the statistical test is too stringent and so significant results cannot be identified. Is also called a False Negative.


In certain Research Designs, a measurement you take prior to the treatment that you will compare to the Posttest score.

Primary Article

An article written by the researchers who did the actual work, usually published in a Peer Reviewed journal. As opposed to a Secondary Article

"Primary article is written from primary research, where the authors of the study are the people who actually conduct the research, collect observable information (data), and analyze results. "Think pieces" (reflective and theoretical essays) and secondhand, filtered accounts of what "research says" are not included in primary, empirical research." (Beaudry & Miller, 2016, p.5)


Beaudry, J. S., & Miller, L. (2016). Research literacy: A primer for understanding and using research. Guilford Publications.


PRISMA is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. PRISMA primarily focuses on the reporting of reviews evaluating the effects of interventions, but can also be used as a basis for reporting systematic reviews with objectives other than evaluating interventions (e.g. evaluating aetiology, prevalence, diagnosis or prognosis). (Source)


A mathematical principle that says that things do not have to be Deterministic, but only likely, in order to be systematic. Most tests used in Inferential Statistics are based on Probability.


That part of an article where the Methods and other logistical aspects are described in enough detail that the research can either be Replicated or fully understood.


In an article, the statement by the researchers of why they are doing the research in the first place.

Purposive Sample

A Sample where the members of the Sample are picked because of their unique characteristics. Most often found in Qualitative Research.


Qualitative Research

That type of empirical research that focuses on the study of Meaning and related phenomena in natural settings.

Quantitative Research

That type of empirical research that focuses on the task of identifying and testing basic rules and laws that underlie typical behaviors and settings.

Quasi-Experimental Design

A Research Design that shares most of the properties of a true Experimental Design, except that the Independent Variable cannot be strictly controlled or manipulated.



Correlations are a great tool for learning about how one thing changes with another. Correlation values closer to 0 are weaker correlations, while values closer to positive or negative 1 are stronger correlation. (Source)

In statistics, the Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC) ― also known as Pearson's r, the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient (PPMCC), the bivariate correlation, or colloquially simply as the correlation coefficient ― is a measure of linear correlation between two sets of data.It is the ratio between the covariance of two variables and the product of their standard deviations; thus, it is essentially a normalized measurement of the covariance, such that the result always has a value between −1 and 1 (-1 ≤ r ≤ 1). (Source)

The "r value" is a common way to indicate a correlation value. More specifically, it refers to the (sample) Pearson correlation, or Pearson's r. The "sample" note is to emphasize that you can only claim the correlation for the data you have, and you must be cautious in making larger claims beyond your data. (Source)

Random Sample

An important type of Sample in Quantitative Research. When a Sample is chosen at random, it lessens the chance for any sort of systematic distortion of that Sample in relation to the Population.


The most primitive measure of Dispersion; it is the distance between the lowest score and the highest score.

Raw Data

Data that have been collected but not yet analyzed.


The part of an article where the published sources that were actually cited in the article are listed alphabetically.


A Statistical process where the values of a predictor Variable are used to help estimate the possible value of a target Variable.


A Statistical test used to measure the accuracy of the process used to gather Data. Some common forms of Reliability include test-retest reliability, alternate forms reliability, and internal consistency.

Repeated Measures

A Statistical Research Design used in Quantitative Research where Data is gathered from the same Participants at different times. A Pretest-Posttest design is a simple form of repeated measures.


The ability to repeat a research process and get the same answer. Most important in Quantitative Research.

Representative Sample

A type of Sample where some effort has been made to make sure the Sample resembles the Population in one or more important ways.

Research Article

Another name for a Primary Article, especially where actual research has been conducted and the Results presented.

Research Critic

The intended end goal of the Consumer of Research. Research critics are active, engaged, and informed.

Research Design

The systematic plan for answering the Research Questions.

Research Literacy

That form of Literacy that allows a person to read and understand research articles in an informed and critical fashion.

Research Question

A basic question converted into a form that can be examined or tested by using research methods and procedures.

Research report

Reports are a way for researchers to publish information about ongoing research or a recently completed research project. Reports are often published by a university or research institution and, compared to journal articles and books, they are published much faster. Just like dissertations, although not to the same extent, reports may contain both research overviews and references to earlier research.

These reports are usually published in a series and called working papers, discussion papers, technical reports, or research reports.

Note: the above content is directly quoted from the University Library Guides offered by the University Library at Jönköping University


That section of an article that presents the key Data related to the Research Questions. Also, the name of those Findings.


A problem in Qualitative Research where the researcher is too concerned with following a specific method and possibly misses a chance to find something important.



A subset of a Population. Samples can either be systematic or unsystematic.

Scientific Method

The process of observing phenomena, making predictions, testing those predictions, and modifying existing Theory.

Secondary Article

An article written for a lay audience, most often not written by the researchers themselves and published in more popular journals. As opposed to Primary Article.

semi-structured interview

A semi-structured interview is a method of research used most often in the social sciences. While a structured interview has a rigorous set of questions which does not allow one to divert, a semi-structured interview is open, allowing new ideas to be brought up during the interview as a result of what the interviewee says. The interviewer in a semi-structured interview generally has a framework of themes to be explored. (Source)


A problem in Qualitative Research where the researcher allows his or her emotions to get in the way and obscure his or her findings.

Standard Deviation

A systematic measure of Dispersion that takes into account the differences of each score from the Mean. An important tool in both Descriptive and Inferential Statistics.


STARD stands for “Standards for Reporting Diagnostic accuracy studies”. The STARD statement was developed to improve the completeness and transparency of reports of diagnostic accuracy studies. STARD contains a list of essential items that can be used as a checklist, by authors, reviewers and other readers, to ensure that a report of a diagnostic accuracy study contains the necessary information. STARD was recently updated. All updated STARD materials, including the checklist, are available at (Source)


The branch of mathematics that uses the principles of Probability to describe Distributions and test potential differences among groups. Also, a description of the characteristics of a Sample.

Stratified Sample

A specialized type of Representative Sample where key demographics in a Population are mirrored in the Sample.

Structural Equation Modeling

An advanced modeling process in Quantitative Research where latent variables are incorporated into the modeling process.

structured interview

A structured interview is a systematic approach to interviewing where you ask the same predetermined questions to all candidates in the same order and you rate them with a standardized scoring system. (Source)


Old-fashioned term to describe people in research studies. Nowadays, the term Participants is preferred.


A problem in Qualitative Research where the researcher settles for simple results and possibly misses a chance to find something important.

systematic review

A systematic review is a research method that involves a comprehensive and structured search of existing literature on a particular topic, followed by a critical appraisal and synthesis of the findings. The aim of a systematic review is to provide an unbiased and rigorous summary of the available evidence on a specific research question.



A Statistical test that allows the researcher to compare group Means to see if they are significantly different from each other or not.

Targeted Sample

Another name for a Purposive Sample.


A unit of Data organization in Qualitative Research. Often produced using coding strategies.


An organized body of testable claims that can be proved or disproved with research.



A problem in Qualitative Research where the researcher plays it too safe and possibly misses a chance to find something important.


The name of an article; often an important source of information.

Type I Error

Another name for a Confidence Error, where the statistical test is too lenient and so the results cannot be trusted. Is also called a False Positive.

Type II Error

Another name for a Power Error, where the statistical test is too stringent and so significant results cannot be identified. Is also called a False Negative.


unstructured interview

An Interview style where the researcher asks a few simple general questions to the Participant, and then the Participant is free to take the discussion in whatever direction might be useful. Most often found in Qualitative Research.



A measure of the authenticity of Data. When Data are valid, then we are actually measuring what we claim we are measuring. Both Qualitative Research and Quantitative Research use differing forms of validity.


A measurement that can change its value depending on conditions or treatments. As opposed to Constant.

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