Research Tools

Statistical Analysis

Biological Statistics and statistics used in research can often be scary.  Which test to use?  How do I know where to start?  What is an ANOVA? t-test? Compounding Variables and Random Sampling?  When designing your research project, it is important to know what statistical methods are best suited for validating your data.  The following link below is a pdf handbook, “Handbook of Biological Statistics, 2d Edition”, by John H. McDonald.  It outlines a lot of the terms, how to use which tests and helps novice researchers become familiar with biological stats.  And the best part, the pdf is FREE to download.

Follow the link here:  Handbook of Biological Statistics, 2d Edition.  John H. McDonald.  University of Delaware

Statistical Analysis Software

Once you’ve become familar with statistics, you’ll likely want to use a statistical analysis software to grind through all of your data.  Check out the following below for some very useful tools and well known software programs.

GraphPad Instat:  

InStat is a statistical analysis software that helps you work through the statistical tests required for your particular study.  Very helpful!  Check out their website at:  http://www.graphpad.com/instat/instat.htm
(free trial version available if you just want to test it)
Download their user manual (lots of useful statistical terms and explanations).  Click Here for link

Statistical Computation?

This is a great page from Vassar University that helps you decide several different statistical approaches needed to complete and validate your study.

Vassar Stats:  http://faculty.vassar.edu/lowry/VassarStats.html

Developing questionnaires

 Don’t underestimate the power of a good questionnaire.  Qualitative research using questionnaires play an important role in many areas such as: understanding the psychology of treatment and approaches; determining best practice guidelines and also understanding the underlying problems and issues involved in systemic policies and procedures.  Good questionnaires require a great deal of skill, thought and time. 

Below, you will find a link to an article written by: A. Williams in the Journal of Orthodonics that outlines qualities of a good questionnaire.

  1. Link to Questionnaire Article by A. Williams.  Journal of Orthodonics (2003) Vol. 30(3): 245-252
    Link to article HTML:
    http://jorthod.maneyjournals.org/cgi/reprint/30/3/245
  2. The following link is a pdf from Dr. Therese Seibert from Keene State College, Department of Sociology.  There are some key points and great guidelines.
    Link to:  designing surveys that count by Therese Seibert, Ph.D., Keene State College, Department of Sociology.

Clinical Trials: Phase I, II, III, IV

What are the differences between these?  How would it apply to me during my research?  Phase-based trials can explain preliminary results to gathering data after implementation of new techniques and treatment approaches.  Click on the following below to find out more about how your study may fit into phase-based studies.

Phase I, II, III, IV

How to write a manuscript

Manuscript writing is an essential process by which investigators disseminate their results and findings to the scientific community.  Many different forms of manuscripts exist for publication: Literature Reviews; Findings of a study; Case Study Reports; Selected Readings just to name a few.  Manuscript writing takes a great deal of time and effort and often, there is a formula that each journal requires its submitters to follow.  Generally speaking, most papers require that you provide an introduction, a body and a conclusion (much of what we learned in our English writing classes).  There are other details however that writers must consider such as writing an effective abstract.  Abstracts set the stage and are used in academic search engines so the content is of particular importance.  Follow the links below to find out more! 

  1. Literature Reviews
  2. Reports of a Study
  3. Case Study Reports
  4. Commentaries and Letters

Citation Builders

Be sure to cite your sources!  If you’re not sure about how to write a citation or how to format the citation, here are some useful links that are “plug in” based forms that will produce the desired citation format for you!

NCSU Libraries:  http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/citationbuilder/
SourceAid Citation Builder:  http://www.sourceaid.com/citationbuilder/

Useful DataBase searches

open access Online Journals