This resource explains how important it is that social research is conducted in a scientific way, following definite rules that have been developed over time with the aim of ensuring that the results are not just the product of the researcher’s own beliefs.

The paper stresses the importance of research being valid, reliable and representative. It also shows how qualitative and quantitative methods fit together and sets out the elements which make up a research project.

This resource was developed by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), a part of Research Councils UK (RCUK).

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