Understanding science and research
This article is part of an ongoing series of articles on evidence-based knowledge management.
Scientific research published in academic journals is one of the four sources of evidence in evidence-based practice. But, as we’ve previously advised, to effectively use scientific literature in your decision-making you need to be able to search for appropriate studies and judge their trustworthiness and relevance.
The This is research series from The Conversation can assist with the development of this capability. In the series, academics share and discuss open access articles that reveal important aspects of science.
Articles in the series so far include:
- When the numbers aren’t enough: how different data work together in research. Important research questions can almost always be answered better with a combination of methods — where both quantitive and qualitative data play a role.
- How tracking people moving together through time creates powerful data. Cohorts, or groups of people, are followed over time in longitudinal studies — imagine the study subjects marching forward together through the years, like a group of soldiers.
- What it means when scientists say their results are ‘significant’. What do stats really mean in the real world? Here’s an example from leukaemia research to help you identify if a result really is important.
- The curious case of the missing workplace teaspoons. Once upon a time, a group of disheartened scientists found their tearoom bereft of teaspoons. They explored the problem with a longitudinal study design.
Originally published at RealKM.