Conducting Research

Searching the Medical Education Literature

  • ERIC
    (Education Resources Information Center, U.S. Dept. of Education)

    (University of Leeds) A freely accessible database of the full text of conference papers, working papers and electronic literature which supports educational research, policy and practice

  • iCDL
    International Centre for Distance Learning (UK Open University) Promoting distance learning worldwide"

  • MEDLINE via PubMed

  • BioMed Search
    BioMedSearch is a biomedical search engine that contains NIH, PubMed documents, plus a large collection of theses and dissertations

  Tools for the Researcher

Selected Readings

An Introduction to Reading and Appraising Qualitative Research (BMJ series, 2008)

  • Kuper A, Reeves S, Levinson W. An introduction to reading and appraising qualitative research. BMJ 2008; 337:a288.
    This article explores the difference between qualitative and quantitative research and the need for doctors to be able to interpret and appraise qualitative research.
  • Reeves S, Albert M, Kuper A, Hodges BD. Why use theories in qualitative research? BMJ 2008; 337:a949.
    Theories such as interactionism, phenomenology, and critical theory can be used to help design a research question, guide the selection of relevant data, interpret the data, and propose explanations of causes or influences.
  • Hodges BD, Kuper A, Reeves S. Discourse analysis. BMJ 2008; 337:a879.
    This articles explores how discourse analysis is useful for a wide range of research questions in health care and the health professions.
  • Kuper A, Lingard L, Levinson W. Critically appraising qualitative research. BMJ 2008; 337:a1035.
    Summary points:
    - Appraising qualitative research is different from appraising quantitative research - Qualitative research papers should show appropriate sampling, data collection, and data analysis - Transferability of qualitative research depends on context and may be enhanced by using theory - Ethics in qualitative research goes beyond review boards' requirements to involve complex issues of confidentiality, reflexivity, and power
  • Reeves S, Kuper A, Hodges BD. Qualitative research methodologies: ethnography. BMJ 2008; 337:a1020.
    Key features of ethnographic research: - A strong emphasis on exploring the nature of a particular social phenomenon, rather than setting out to test hypotheses about it
    - A tendency to work primarily with "unstructured data" -that is, data that have not been coded at the point of data collection as a closed set of analytical categories
    - Investigation of a small number of cases (perhaps even just one case) in detail
    - Analysis of data that involves explicit interpretation of the meanings and functions of human actions; the product of this analysis primarily takes the form of verbal descriptions and explanations
  • Lingard L, Albert M, Levinson W. Grounded theory, mixed methods, and action research. BMJ 2008; 337:a567.
    These commonly used methods are appropriate for particular research questions and contexts.

 The ABC of Learning and Teaching in Medicine (BMJ series, 2003)

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