This sub-wiki deals with scientific methods.
What are scientific methods?
We define Scientific Methods as follows:
- First and foremost, scientific methods produce knowledge.
- Focussing on the academic perspective, scientific methods can be either reproducible and learnable; can be documented and are learnable; or are reproducible, can be documented, and are learnable.
- From a systematic perspective, methods are approaches that help us gather data, analyse data, and/or interpret it. Most methods refer to either one or two of these steps, and few methods refer to all three steps.
- Many specific methods can be differentiated into different schools of thinking, and many methods have finer differentiations or specifications in an often hierarchical fashion. These two factors make a fine but systematic overview of all methods an almost Herculean task, yet on a broader scale it is quite possible to gain an overview of the methodological canon of science within a few years, if you put some efforts into it. This Wiki tries to develop the baseline material for such an overview, yet can of course not replace practical application of methods and the continuous exploring of empirical studies within the scientific literature.
What can you learn about methods on this Wiki?
This Wiki describes each presented method in terms of
- its historical and disciplinary background,
- its characteristics and how the method actually works,
- its strengths and challenges,
- normative implications of the method,
- the potential future and open questions for the method,
- exemplary studies that deploy the method,
- as well as key publications and further readings.
Also, each scientific method that is described on this Wiki is categorized according to the Wiki's underlying Design Criteria of Methods.
This means that each method fulfills one or more categories of each of the following criteria:
- Quantitative - Qualitative
- Inductive - Deductive
- Spatial scales: Individual - System - Global
- Temporal scales: Past - Present - Future
You can click on each category for more information and all the entries that belong to this category.
Which methods can you learn about?
See all methods that have been described on this Wiki so far:
We also have what we call Level 2 overview pages.
On these pages, we present everything that is necessary for a specific field of methods in a holistic way. So far, Level 2 pages exist for:
- Statistics: Here, you will find guidance on which statistical method you should choose, help on data formats, data visualisation, and a range of R Code examples for various statistical applications.
- Interviews: Here, we help you select the proper Interview method and provide further Wiki entries on Interview methodology you should read.