OpenStax CNX

You are here: Home » Content » Research Methods

About: Research Methods

Module by: OpenStax College. E-mail the author

View the content: Research Methods


Name: Research Methods
ID: m42960
Language: English (en)
  • Differentiate between four kinds of research methods: surveys, field research, experiments, and secondary data analysis
  • Understand why different topics are better suited to different research approaches
Subject: Social Sciences
Keywords: Case study, Content analysis, Control group, Correlation, Ethnography, Experiment field research, Hawthorne effect, Interview, Nonreactive, Participant observation, Population, Primary data, Qualitative data, Quantitative data, Random sample, Research design, Samples, Secondary data analysis, Surveys
License: Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 3.0

Authors: OpenStax College (
Copyright Holders: Rice University (
Maintainers: OpenStax College (, Sociology Cap (

Latest version: 1.4 (history)
First publication date: Jan 27, 2012 3:59 pm -0600
Last revision to module: Jul 29, 2013 4:25 pm -0500


PDF: m42960_1.4.pdf PDF file, for viewing content offline and printing. Learn more.
XML: m42960_1.4.cnxml XML that defines the structure and contents of the module, minus any included media files. Can be reimported in the editing interface. Learn more.

Version History

Version: 1.4 Jul 29, 2013 4:25 pm -0500 by Sociology Cap
Updated links

Version: 1.3 Jun 12, 2012 11:37 am -0500 by Sociology Cap
revision changes

Version: 1.2 May 3, 2012 5:36 pm -0500 by Sociology Cap
initial content publication

Version: 1.1 Feb 1, 2012 9:29 am -0600 by OSC Physics Maintainer
Created module

How to Reuse and Attribute This Content

If you derive a copy of this content using a OpenStax-CNX account and publish your version, proper attribution of the original work will be automatically done for you.

If you reuse this work elsewhere, in order to comply with the attribution requirements of the license (CC-BY 3.0), you must include

  • the authors' names: OpenStax College
  • the title of the work: Research Methods
  • the OpenStax-CNX URL where the work can be found:

See the citation section below for examples you can copy.

How to Cite and Attribute This Content

The following citation styles comply with the attribution requirements for the license (CC-BY 3.0) of this work:

American Chemical Society (ACS) Style Guide:

OpenStax College. Research Methods, OpenStax-CNX Web site., Jul 29, 2013.

American Medical Assocation (AMA) Manual of Style:

OpenStax College. Research Methods [OpenStax-CNX Web site]. July 29, 2013. Available at:

American Psychological Assocation (APA) Publication Manual:

OpenStax College. (2013, July 29). Research Methods. Retrieved from the OpenStax-CNX Web site:

Chicago Manual of Style (Bibliography):

OpenStax College. "Research Methods." OpenStax-CNX. July 29, 2013.

Chicago Manual of Style (Note):

OpenStax College, "Research Methods," OpenStax-CNX, July 29, 2013,

Chicago Manual of Style (Reference, in Author-Date style):

OpenStax College. 2013. Research Methods. OpenStax-CNX, July 29, 2013.

Modern Languages Association (MLA) Style Manual:

OpenStax College. Research Methods. OpenStax-CNX. 29 July 2013 <>.