Case Studies

Methodological Premises of Doing Literature Reviews

Postăvaru, G., and Cramer, D. (2016) ‘A case of methodological premises underlying literature reviews,’ SAGE Research Methods Cases. doi:10.4135/978144627305015595385

In this case study, the authors demonstrate and discuss methodological principles of doing literature reviews as a preparation and part of an empirical study about a specific topic. They also give some advice about how to report the main findings of your review, and to identify a gap in knowledge, that your research should fill. They also discuss shortcomings of literature reviews that are known and that you should avoid.

  1. What are the shortcomings of literature reviews?
  2. What did your literature review provide as main insights? Analyse your evidence thematically and chronologically, by using columns in a table for year of publication, name of authors, source, keywords, main findings, and explanations for conflicting evidence.

Planning, Piloting and Pre-Testing in Interview Studies

Mikuska, E. (2017) ‘The importance of piloting or pre-testing semi-structured interviews and narratives,’ SAGE Research Methods Cases. doi:10.4135/9781473977754

In this case study, the author illustrates why it is important to test your methods also when you plan a study with interviews or narratives. She outlines the process of doing a pilot study and gives examples of what occurred and which lessons she learned.

  1. What are the main reasons why you should do pre-test interviews when you plan a study?
  2. What are advantages and problems of knowing the participants of your study in advance?

How to design an instrument for your research

Mendoza, V. (2014) ‘Measurement, tips, and errors: Making an instrument design in risk perception’ SAGE Research Methods Cases. doi:10.4135/978144627305013519224

In this case study, the author describes the process of designing an instrument for a quantitative study based on her experiences in her Masters and PhD theses. She outlines pitfalls and solutions in a step-by-step manner, reaching to issues of quality in the design and publishing about the research. She also discusses the alternatives of choosing between developing a new instrument or using an existing instrument.

  1. What are the author’s main suggestions you could use for your research?
  2. What are the main pitfalls to avoid regarding your research from what the author discusses?