Research skills: Publication guide

Below are some citations and abstracts from publications from the library’s database and Open Access publications:

Balloo, K., Pauli, R., & Worrell, M. (2016). Individual differences in psychology undergraduates’ development of research methods knowledge and skills. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 217, 790-800.

Not all psychology undergraduates appear to benefit from participating in research methodology classes. This longitudinal study tracked how students’ knowledge of research methods developed throughout their three-year undergraduate psychology degree. Card sorting procedures measuring knowledge of research methods terminology were repeated at four time-points across three years then analyzed using multidimensional scaling. There was no significant improvement in students’ research methods structural knowledge after a year, but there was by the end of students’ second year. Knowledge did not improve after students’ final year of study. Various metacognitive and motivational variables were significant correlates of research methods knowledge and research skills. Structural knowledge of research methods terminology appears to be developed from formal methodology training and is not improved upon after completion of a final year research project dissertation. Improving metacognitive skills and increasing motivation for methodology classes may be linked to better development of research methods knowledge and research skills.

Wannapiroon, P. (2014). Development of research-based blended learning model to enhance graduate students’ research competency and critical thinking skills. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 136, 486-490.

This paper is a report on the findings of a Research and Development (R&D) aiming to develop the model of Research-Based Blended Learning (RBBL) to enhance graduate students’ research competency and critical thinking skills, to study the result of using such model, and to purpose the RBBL model. The sample consisted of 10 experts in the fields during the model developing stage, while there were 28 graduate students of KMUTNB for the model try out stage. The research procedures included 4 phases: 1) literature review, 2) model development, 3) model experiment, and 4) model revision and confirmation. The research results were divided into 3 parts according to the procedures as described in the following session. First, the data gathering from the literature review were reported as a draft model; followed by the research finding from the experts’ interviews indicated that the model should be included 8 components and 9 procedures to develop research competency and critical thinking skills. The 8 components were 1) Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), 2) Cloud Learning Management System (CLMS), 3) learning courseware, 4) learning resources, 5) scaffolding, 6) communication, 7) learning assessment, and 8) RBBL activity; while the procedures included: 1) Introduction, 2) Storyboards, 3) Keynote lectures, 4) Resources for Information and Communication Technologies, 5) Faculty Consultants, 6) Reflective Blog, 7) Assessment, 8) Presentation of Storyboard work, 9) Examination. Second, the research finding from the experimental stage found that there were statistically significant difference of the research competency and critical thinking skills post-test scores over the pre-test scores at the .05 level. The students agreed that learning with the RBBL model was at a high level of satisfaction. Third, according to the finding from the experimental stage and the comments from the experts, the developed model was revised and proposed in the report for further implication and references.

Slade, S. C., Philip, K., & Morris, M. E. (2018). Frameworks for embedding a research culture in allied health practice: a rapid review. Health Research Policy and Systems, 16(1), 29.

Although allied health clinicians play a key role in the provision of healthcare, embedding a culture of research within public and private health systems remains a challenge. In this rapid review we critically evaluate frameworks for embedding research into routine allied health practice, as the basis for high quality, safe, efficient and consumer-focused care. A rapid review (PROSPERO: CRD42017075699) was conducted to evaluate frameworks designed to create and embed research in the health sector. Included were full-text, English-language, peer-reviewed publications or Government reports of frameworks that could inform the implementation of an allied health research framework. Eight electronic databases and four government websites were searched, using search terms such as models, frameworks and research capacity-building. Two independent researchers conducted all review stages and used content and thematic analysis to interpret the results. Sixteen framework papers were finally included. Content analysis identified 44 system and regulatory level items that informed the research frameworks, 125 healthcare organisation items and 76 items relating to individual clinicians. Thematic analysis identified four major themes. Firstly, sustainable change requires allied health research policies, regulation, governance and organisational structures that support and value evidence-based practice. Secondly, research capability, receptivity, advocacy and literacy of healthcare leaders and managers are key to successful research implementation. Third, organisational factors that facilitate a research culture include dedicated staff research positions, time allocated to research, mentoring, professional education and research infrastructure. When healthcare agencies had strong partnerships with universities and co-located research leaders, research implementation was strengthened. Finally, individual attributes of clinicians, such as their research skills and capabilities, motivation, and participation in research teams, are essential to embedding research into practice. Theoretical frameworks were identified that informed processes to embed a culture of allied health research into healthcare services. Research-led and evidence-informed allied health practice enables optimisation of workforce capability and high-quality care.

Green, R. A., Morrissey, S. A., & Conlon, E. G. (2018). The values and self‐efficacy beliefs of postgraduate psychology students. Australian Journal of Psychology, 70(2), 139-148.

Postgraduate psychology students must develop three generic capabilities: theory, research, and communication. This is critical to strengthen the link between science and practice. The current study explored the impact of students’ postgraduate program on task values and self‐efficacy beliefs using an expectancy‐value perspective. Two hundred and thirty‐seven postgraduate psychology students (195 females, Mage= 30.98, standard deviation = 8.34) completed a survey investigating student values and expectations. Students were enrolled in a Master of Psychology (n= 90), research‐only PhD (n= 72), or professional doctorate/Masters with PhD (n= 75). A series of 3 (Domain) × 3 (Program) mixed factorial analysis of variances were conducted to explore postgraduates’ social influences, task values, and self‐efficacy beliefs towards theory, research, and communication. Coursework students perceived peers to value communication skills significantly more than research, while research‐only students perceived peers to value theory, research, and communication equally. Postgraduate students in all programs reported consistently lower task values and self‐efficacy beliefs towards the research domain. Australian universities and professional organisations are encouraged to support the development of practice–research networks to facilitate greater collaboration and stronger links between future psychological scientists and practitioners.

McDermott, H. J., & Dovey, T. M. (2013). Strategy to promote active learning of an advanced research method. Psychology Learning & Teaching, 12(1), 92-95.

Research methods courses aim to equip students with the knowledge and skills required for research yet seldom include practical aspects of assessment. This reflective practitioner report describes and evaluates an innovative approach to teaching and assessing advanced qualitative research methods to final-year psychology undergraduate students. An active-learning approach involving auto-photography was developed and implemented as the assessment requirements for a qualitative component of an advanced research methods module. The authors suggest that this student-centred active-learning exercise is a useful and successful strategy to promote the construction of knowledge.

Harvey, D., Plummer, D., Pighills, A., & Pain, T. (2013). Practitioner research capacity: a survey of social workers in Northern Queensland. Australian Social Work, 66(4), 540-554.

Strategies to build practitioner research capacity need to be developed in order to increase the research base for social work. To be effective, strategies need to be informed by an understanding of the organisational context and the social work workforce. This paper reports the results of a cross-sectional survey of social workers conducted as part of a larger study of health practitioners in a public sector health organisation in northern Queensland. The survey demonstrates a high level of interest in research. Research methods congruent with social work’s person in environment focus were favoured by participants. However, consistent with the literature, lack of confidence, limited knowledge and skills, and practical constraints impeded research activity. This study contributes to research capacity building initiatives by identifying research strengths and areas of research activity where support is required. Approaches to evidence-based practice consistent with social work and strategies for research capacity building are discussed.

Joubert, L., & Hocking, A. (2015). Academic practitioner partnerships: A model for collaborative practice research in social work. Australian Social Work, 68(3), 352-363.

Academic practitioner collaborations can further the practice research agenda of social work departments in a health setting. This article describes the development of a formalised partnership, located in an oncology social work department, which was grounded in a systemic mentoring approach that responded to the expressed needs of social workers to develop skills in research design and implementation. The systemic model promoted the development of a practice research culture and opportunities for social workers to participate in research at multiple levels. Practice research focused on the contribution of social work practice research to improved outcomes for patients and the hospital service. The partnership has supported the development of a range of clinically relevant research studies and the growing motivation and confidence among social work staff to participate in a wider research agenda.

Comino, E. J., Knight, J., Grace, R., Kemp, L., & Wright, D. C. (2016). The Gudaga Research Program: A Case Study in Undertaking Research with an Urban Aboriginal Community. Australian Social Work, 69(4), 443–455.

This paper presents the Gudaga Research Program as a case study describing the practice principles used to implement a successful research partnership with an urban Aboriginal community in south-western Sydney. This is one of few papers that address research issues unique to working with urban Aboriginal communities, in which the Aboriginal culture of the community is not homogenous. The authors argue that the relationships between the researchers and key community members and research participants underpin the research success. Throughout, the authors show that ongoing processes to nurture and reaffirm these relationships are important and require ongoing investment. A proposed practice framework demonstrates the relationship between knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal history and culture, the underpinning values including trust, respect, and reciprocity, and shared skills and communication. Examples of how these were built into the research are provided. These are important skills that have application beyond the research process.

See also the previous post on evaluating information

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