What are qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods?

Qualitative Research

Qualitative research studies collect descriptive data (mostly words). They use methods such as interviews, focus groups, content analysis, and observation. Surveys with open-ended questions could be used for qualitative research.

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research methods collect numerical data and use statistics to analyze that data. Experiments, analyses that look for relationships between sets of numerical data, and surveys with limited, pre-determined responses are examples of methods that could be used for quantitative research. 

Mixed Methods

Mixed-methods studies combine both kinds of research methods to gather both qualitative and quantitative data.

How do I find various types of studies?

Strategy 1: Use library databases

Find recommended databases for your academic subject using the menu on the Databases A to Z list, or look for them on the library's research guide for your subject.

Strategy 2: Use keywords

In addition to the keywords that describe your research topic, trying adding a term that describes the type of research study you wish to find. For example, qualitative, quantitative, survey, ethnography, or "clinical trial."

Note: You will still need to evaluate each article to determine if it is the type of study you need to find.

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