Navigating SAGE Research Methods by Discipline

Categories: MentorSpace, Research, Tools and Resources

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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.

Sometimes we want to delve into the literature within a discipline. We need to understand respected approaches for designing and conducting studies, because we hope our research will fit and contribute. Other times we want to get a sense of how particular methodology or method is used by researchers in other disciplines. We might want to expand the reach of our work, so we want to frame it in a way that will be broadly understood and accepted. Or perhaps we want to conduct interdisciplinary research that draws from and melds sources from various fields.


You can hone your SAGE Research Methods search to serve any of these purposes. Disciplinary options are available in several places on SRM, and you can readily add or subtract disciplines in the middle of your inquiry.Search disciplines

At the top of the opening page you will see the button called Browse. When you click it, you will see a list of disciplines from which you can select.

Also on the front page, next to the main search box, click the Advanced Search option. From this click you also have the ability to choose all disciplines, or to select one or more from the list. Once your search is in progress, you will see a menu bar on the right that allows you to narrow or broaden your exploration by content type, discipline, and/or publication date.SRM Search box

I was curious to see how results from the same keyword would vary by discipline. I searched for “visual methods” in anthropology and in marketing.

First, let’s look at resources filtered for the discipline of anthropology. The most relevant resources included handbooks, texts, videos and case studies. Some of Gillian Rosethese materials would serve researchers in anthropology, but would certainly be useful to researchers elsewhere. For example, the value of The SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods (2011), Pink’s Advances in visual methodology (2012) or video clips by Gillian Rose (2017) is not limited to those with an interest in anthropology. Other sources such as Handbook of Critical and Indigenous Methodologies (2008) or the case study Structural and Poststructural Analysis of Visual Documentation: An Approach To Studying Photographs (2015) are more relevant to this field.

Qual Marketing ResearchWith the same search terms filtered for the marketing discipline, the resource list again included both general and specific resources. For example, a chapter titled “Visual Materials and Methods” in a book titled Qualitative Marketing Research (Moisander & Valtonen, 2006) is a close match while a chapter like “Visuality in Social Media: Researching Images, Circulations And Practices” (Hand, 2016) might be of interest to other kinds of researchers who want to study images.

You can see all the sources I discovered in this reference list. Try it yourself! Dig deep within your own field or venture out to see whether you can learn something new from researchers whose work is categorized in another discipline. Share what you discover in the comment area.



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