Whilst writing a methodology for my Human Geography dissertation, I was advised to reference at least 6 methods books/ articles to justify the research techniques I used in my study. I needed books specifically related to qualitative research on 1:1 interviews which detailed the suitability of this method. I also required writing on reflexivity and positionality (how my own position may have affected the study) as well as participant sample size, locations and so on.
I used SAGE Research Methods because I wanted online resources opposed to physical books (although I later used physical books which were not available on the site). I found the site split the method books into easy to read sections where page number and sub-heading can be added or taken away at the click of a button:
Similar to my kindle, it shows how much of the book you have left to read, as well as listing chapters on the right hand side so you can pick and choose which chapters you want to use without referring back to a contents page. I like the layout of the page, it is simplistic and uncluttered.
It is clear how to cite the text, search within the text and download as pdf, however my institution did not allow me to download a chapter which was slightly annoying. The search function was very useful for me and is something I use in online articles to find key terms.I don’t export my citations into one certain programme, instead choosing to copy and paste into a Pages document, however both techniques are easy on SAGE Research Methods:
I was unsure whether you were able to make notes/highlight directly onto the chapters or page and save them and so I made my own notes on a separate Pages document. This might be a useful function which some online publications already offer.
I think the biggest problem with The SAGE Research Methods site is student awareness of it. I hadn’t really heard of it before embarking on my dissertation research. I was linked to the site through Library Search which took me straight to each book so I initially didn’t experience searching for a book directly on the site. I think students are so dependent on using Library Search or the library physically, they neglect other research tools which may be more targeted to their learning. I liked that you can log in through your institution however not all features (such as downloading a chapter as a PDF) were available on this account.
Finally it’s a case of if the tutor doesn’t mention it, we don’t use it! And so fantastic research tools remain hidden within the A-Z online resources on our library website (SAGE Research Methods is in S but I think would be better displayed on the front page and should also be under R for research and M for methods as students rarely notice who is the provider of the text or resource), which is a shame because it is very easy to work with and makes method books far more appealing than usual.