This series of posts corresponds to the 2018 SAGE Research Methods Open House. If you would like to access the SAGE e-books, articles, case studies, videos, and datasets mentioned in these posts, explore SAGE Research Methods with a free trial.
If you have read my posts on Methodspace, you know I have an interest in visual communication and visual methods. If you know me IRL (in real life) you know that I am directionally-impaired and need a GPS to find my way. It might come as no surprise that I also love using maps to navigate online. SAGE Research Methods offers a visual search tool that allows for an iterative style of exploration.
On the top of the SRM page, you will see two options: Browse and Search Tools. The Browse button allows you to search by topic, discipline, or product type. One choice under the Search Tools button is Methods Map.
When we are searching for resources about research, sometimes we know precisely what we are hoping to find. We have chosen the research approach we want to use and are looking for more about it, or we are looking for additional sources from a known author. We don’t want to waste time (or get distracted); we want to quickly get to the source. Other times we are less certain, and and want to be able to compare and contrast potential research directions. When we are in that inquisitive state, we can organize our search with Methods Maps.
When you click the Methods Map button, you start with the broadest term: Research Methods. From here, you can choose what direction to take to narrow your search. You can click Narrower Terms, or you can click a specific term.
If you click Research Design for example, you are presented with more choices. You can dig deeper, go back to the initial Broader Term, or look for Related Terms. At this point you might want to see available resources. If so, click “View content on Research Design,” which will bring you to a list of materials.
Create a Custom Map
If you want to map a specific area, instead of the general Research Methods starting point, simply enter the term into the search box on the map page.
Once you have generated a list of source materials, you can narrow further by using the menu on the right. It allows you to choose content type, date range, and/or discipline.
Log in and give it a try! If you’d like to share your experiences, use the comment box.