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London Metropolitan University

Research Matters: Collecting and analysing data

Research Matters

Evaluating your research sources

It is important not to take research sources at face value. You should give sufficient consideration to websites, books, articles and other resources that you you draw upon for your research. The CRAAP Test is a memorable acronym which covers the key things to consider.

  • Currency
  • Relevance
  • Authority
  • Accuracy
  • Purpose

There could be valid occasions when a resource does not meet the criteria of the CRAAP Test but as long as you are mindful of this at the time of using it, that is what matters. For example, there may be reasons for your research to use a resource even though it is not the most up-to-date.

Data analysis software

IBM SPSS Statistics is a software package used for statistical analysis. It can be downloaded from the University's Software for students webpage. You can find a number of e-books about using SPSS by searching in the Library Cataloguethis one could be a good start.

NVivo is a qualitative data analysis computer software package produced by QSR International. Students can download it onto personally-owned computers for academic use only via the Software for students webpage. Please note that NVivo home use activation codes are only valid for use in the UK. This e-book may be helpful for you when using NVivo. 

Whilst we are all working remotely, you can also access both of these pieces of software through AppsAnywhere.

Books on collecting and analysing data

We have many books on collecting and analysing data available through the Library - you can find them via the Library Catalogue.
Screenshot of the library catalogue
For some suggested reading on research methods, take a look at the Kinds of research section of Library Matters. 

Analysing images

Images are data just as much as any other source, and they are a type of data which can be highly vulnerable to manipulation, alteration and mis-representation.

If your research involves analysing images, then you may wish to take a look at the Image Manipulation webpages from the HEADT (Humboldt-Elsevier Advanced Data and Text) Centre, which offer an overview on contemporary and historical perspectives on image manipulation, and contain examples spanning diverse themes such as race, controversies in contemporary photography, art forgery scandals, and more.