Explain as thoroughly as possible the research design that you will use to address the study problem, providing all the details necessary for its understanding (enough for third-party researchers to replicate). You can follow the following scheme:

  • Type of study.
  • Location (place where it will be done).
  • Population, sample, inclusion / exclusion criteria, subject selection, etc.
  • Variables
  • Sociodemographic variables (those that serve to characterize the selection of subjects).
  • Tentative dimensions or variables of the study.
  • Methods and techniques of data collection.
  • Analysis of data.
  • Ethics.
  • Limitations of the study.

Pilot test (survey). Its purpose is to test the methodological design, facilitating the necessary adjustments to address the study with rigorous guarantees. Therefore, the scheme we propose has to be understood in relation to the pilot test and not the research as a whole, although it is possible that the data obtained can be incorporated later.

Selection of subjects. Generally a very small number of subjects with a discrete level of representativeness would be sufficient (15-20, 5 in qualitative designs).

Application of the method. Describe in detail each of the stages, with special emphasis on the data collection instruments and their analysis. When describing them, it is necessary to expose, if any, the concrete methodological adjustments that entail their improvement.

Results Although they are scarce, the results will be sufficient to determine the power of the instruments to generate them once the investigation is carried out. Do not underestimate their value, since in most cases they inform us about the main trends or tentative dimensions, which may be incorporated into the final design. In most cases it is a matter of checking whether the aspects studied are witnessed in the results, regardless of the proportion or frequency in which they appear.

Discussion. A previous comparison of the results with other studies can help us determine the degree of novelty that we can attribute to them.

Conclusions Maybe we can only make assertions of a speculative nature, but we can make a general assessment about the ability of the design to answer our research question.

Yardley Finley / June 3, 2019 / Research

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