The following defines the research terms used and links to pages on the research roadmap.
Abstract. A stand–alone single paragraph of 100-300 words that outlines the research topic, method, findings and conclusions, and encourages the reader to read on.
Accuracy. How close a measurement is to its true value based on the sensitivity of the measuring instrument.
Applications. How research could impact current practice and answers the question “So what?”
Author. Someone who has participated in the research journey, the write-up, and believes in the paper.
Bias. When the research results are determined by the experimenter rather than external causes.
Collegiality. Collegiality in science means recognizing your research colleagues.
Comprehensive. That the research sufficiently discusses previous research that relates to it.
Construct. A concept connected to data evidence, that is “constructed” as it were from data and theory.
Contribution. What a research paper adds to what has already been done.
Control group. The set of subjects who do everything the same but don’t receive the treatment.
Correlation. That two variables change together and so associate in some way.
Correlation strength. The degree to which two variables vary together.
Cross-tabulation. A frequency table that shows more than one categorical variable.
Conclusions. General statements about what the findings mean that link to earlier sections.
Data conversion. Turns raw data into the base data set that gives the findings.
Data type. Data can be qualitative or quantitative. The latter can be categorical, ordinal, interval or ratio.
Dependent variable. A variable that is caused and so changes depending on other constructs.
Discussion section. Considers what the results mean.
Error types. A research finding can be a false positive or a false negative.
Findings. Findings follow directly from the specific data and are not general conclusions.
Frequency table. Show the frequency distribution of variables as numbers and/or percentages.
Generalize. To apply the results from a sample to a larger population.
Graphs. Graphs present numeric data in picture form.
Holistic systems are defined not just by their parts but also the interactions between those parts.
Hypothesis. A statement whose opposite the research results can deny.
Implications. What the research suggests for other theories.
Independent variable. A variable that causes another variable to change.
Introduction. Gives the general context of the research
Key terms. The words used to describe the main constructs that the research addresses.
Limitations. Possible flaws in the research including any necessary assumptions made.
Literature review. Defines the research question that is the linchpin of the paper based on a theory framework derived from the literature.
Logical. Academic writing is logical if ideas are presented in a rational manner without jumping to unfounded conclusions.
Logical flow. When ideas follow each other in a rational sequence.
Method. How one gathers external evidence to answer a research question.
Method type. Whether the method used is exploratory, descriptive, correlational or experimental.
Missing values. What is recorded when a data gathering attempt fails, e.g. NA=Not Applicable.
Null hypothesis.The logical opposite of an hypothesis.
Original. That the research is new in some way that differs from what has been done before.
Outlier. A data value that is significantly different from all the others.
Pilot study. A pilot study tries out the procedure and method tools on a few cases to uncover problems.
Precedent. The research that immediately precedes, in that it logically leads to yours.
Procedure. How the data was collected, e.g. by face-to-face, telephone, questionnaire or online website.
Publication type. Tells the reader the paper structure to expect, e.g. theoretical, review, experiment.
Purpose. Defines what the research hopes to achieve.
Recommendation. A proposal for practical action based on the research implications.
Reference. To give a citation in the paper body and a full reference in a list at the end of the paper.
Relevant. Research is relevant if it is of interest to a given target audience.
Reliability. Whether the data gathered would be the same if gathered again.
Replication. That independent others can repeat the research.
Research contribution. What the research adds to current knowledge.
Research design. The logic by which the results answer the research question, e.g. when the treatment of an experimenter changes an independent variable to measure the effect on a dependent variable.
Research problem. The practical problem that the research addresses.
Research question. The abstract question that the research aims to answer by concrete evidence and is the core of any research.
Result table. Give results like mean and standard deviation broken down by one or more variables.
Results section. Describes how raw data from the method was analyzed to give findings.
Reviewing. Reviewing is how scientists keep each other scientific.
Rigorous. Rigor is the degree to which research has scientific merit and avoids bias in any form.
Sample. The set of cases from which the results were gathered.
Scope. A boundary line around the topic area that specifies what is inside and what is outside it.
Science. Seeking to answer questions about a reality based on evidence in a way that others can repeat.
Scientific research. A way to increase common knowledge using shared evidence.
Significance. How likely an interaction occurred by chance measured as a probability (p), e. g. p < .05 means a less than 5% probability the results are random. The degree that the null hypothesis is unlikely.
Structure. The structure of an academic paper is how the overall research logic unfolds.
Target audience. The group of people to whom the paper is addressed.
Task. What the subjects were asked to do.
Theory framework. The related set of concepts that underlie the research question.
Topic. Defines the research subject area.
Topic construct. The construct the research investigates.
Unit of research. The data collection unit, i.e. one data collecting act or case.
Validity. Whether the data gathered actually represents the construct concerned.
Variable. A construct measured as a number is a variable, e. g. the construct Usage as measured by web hits is a variable.
Well-written. A paper is well-written if the text, figures, tables and graphs are easy to understand and pleasant to read.