Developing the Methods Map – an update

Developing and designing the Methods Map has been a major piece of development work on the SRMO project. And we are not finished yet! The work to devise the taxonomy that underpins the Methods Map has been led by our editor, Patrick Brindle, with input from members of our Editorial Board.

We currently have over 1400 unique terms in our taxonomy, but many of the terms are also repeated in different places within the taxonomy. An example of this is “observational methods” which falls under “Qualitative data collection”, “quantitative data collection”, “research design” and “field studies”.

As we started working on the design we were looking at creating linear paths through the Methods Map, starting at the top of the tree, and allowing individuals to find routes down through parent terms to child terms. The designs were looking something like this:

More recently our approach has changed to allow users to explore the full range of related terms to a particular method, at both higher and lower levels in the Methods Map. So the process has become less of a linear progression and more of a web-like mesh approach. This will allow users to not only start at the top of the map and work through it, but will also allow users to perform a search and jump into the middle of the map and then begin to explore the range of options available to move through. The more recent designs are looking something like this:

There is some way for us to go still with the work, but I wanted to share some of the things that we have been working on so far. When we go live with the beta we really want to hear your feedback on the Methods Map, both from the perspective of the content, the terms and relationships that are included, and alsothe functionality and with what level of ease you can move through nodes.

To follow the SRMO development, join our Methodspace Group here.