When an empirical paper is submitted for publication or for an assignment, one of the..

When an empirical paper is submitted for publication or for an assignment, one of the..

When an empirical paper is submitted for publication or for an assignment, one of the first questions asked is whether it is reproducible. There are several reasons for this. Methods as well as results should be shared among peers. Your success or failure using a method can contribute to the body of knowledge, but only if it is presented with enough detail for others to use it as you did. Unfortunately, there is also temptation for researchers to cheat and publish unsupported results. The pressure to publish is great and publication bias may tempt a researcher to make changes to their results so they can publish significant results. The thought is that the more transparent the methods, the less likely the results could be falsified. The question of replicability can also be of great value to the researcher.

Establishing clear steps in the methods section makes producing results easier. As in the metaphor presented in the introduction, it is much easier to create the cake you intended if you can follow pre-constructed steps.

This week you have been learning about the importance of the methods section in empirical research. Using the readings, answer the following questions about your methods section:

1. Where have you looked to find the steps needed to create a methods section for your proposed research?

2. How has your review of these materials helped you through this process?

3. What element of the process of writing your methods section did you find most challenging?

4. What advice would you offer to others attempting to write this section of a research paper?

Question #2 350wolds

Discussion: Making Choices

During this course, as well as during others in this program, you have learned that public health is all about making choices. The choices that you make could influence health outcomes for members of a community, programs, and even budgets. In this course, the focus has been on research and therefore, the choices you have been asked to make include what problem to address, what questions to ask, what search engines and search terms to use, and which studies to include or exclude from your systematic review. In the methods section of your proposal you will identify and justify all but the first two decisions, your choice of problem and research question.

The outcomes of your systematic review will depend on how you located and then chose the studies you will include. Were those choices based on convenience or a clear rationale? Did you include studies based on an emotional response, preferring those with which you felt most comfortable? Or were your choices systematic and related to your understanding of health theory and existing literature?

Non-systematic approaches to decision making lead to bias and may cause your results to have little validity and therefore be of little use to the practice of public health. For this discussion, you are to consider the choices you have made related to your search strategy and your inclusion and exclusion criteria and review the concepts of bias and validity. Using this, respond to the following:

1. How did you make the choices related to this study’s methodology (search strategies and criteria for inclusion and exclusion?

2. Discuss whether you think the choices you made were based on an emotional response or on health theory and your knowledge of your topic.

3. What affect could your choice have on the outcomes of your research?

Question #3 0ver 750wolds

Submit Assignment: Draft of Methods Section

This week you have learned the importance of providing a clear, complete, and concise description of your proposed methodology. In this assignment, you will complete a first draft of your methods section. This section must include the type of analysis you will conduct, your inclusion and exclusion criteria, the studies you will include in your analysis, and how you will conduct the systematic review. In addition, your methods section must include a table detailing the criteria and a figure diagramming the process of including and excluding studies.

There are few sources of information on how to complete this section for a Master’s Thesis or research paper. The reading in the Bui text is for 5 chapter dissertations, so it can be misleading as you are not required to be redundant and restate your introduction at the beginning of each section. While repeating the problem, purpose, and research questions in the intro to several chapters allows them to be standalone, doing this for a research thesis of between 20 and 30 pages is redundant and can distract your readers.

For guidance on completing this section, use the materials in this week’s resources. Both the Thesis Proposal Outline and the Methods Template were designed for use with a Masters’ Thesis and not a 5 chapter dissertation. You will find the Systematic Review Protocol and the Systematic Reviews Illustrated Guide located in Week 1’s resources of value when completing this assignment. You may also review your chosen systematic review from Week 1 as an example, though your paper, a Masters’ Thesis, will be longer than most publications. You should be able to use the APA 6 Table Template and the APA 6 Figure Template , and 3 or 4 paragraphs of narrative to complete this assignment.


Systematic Reviews Illustrated Guide and 2.1.1 PRISM 2009 Checklist Pai, M., McCulloch, M., Gorman, J., Pai, N., Enanoria, W., Kennedy, G. ... Colford, J. (2004). Systematic reviews and meta-analyses; An illustrated step by step guide. The National Medical Journal of India; 17, 86-95.

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