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SCS 224 (Campus) - Social Science Research Methods

This guide serves as a research companion to the ON-CAMPUS course SCS-224 titled "Social Science Research Methods" taught by Professor Christine Clamp.

Institutional Review Board

Institutional review boards are committees formed to review and monitor biomedical and behavioral research with human subjects. All research involving human subjects must be approved by the IRB before research begins. Visit the SNHU IRB site to learn more, review the research submission process, and download the forms you'll need to get started.

SNHU Undergraduate Research

SNHU hosts an annual Undergraduate Research Day on campus to showcase research done by undergraduates during the year. Students select a mentor, submit a proposal by the deadline, and if accepted, conduct their research and present on the first Wednesday of April at Undergraduate Research Day. Students conducting research using human subjects are required to submit a proposal to the IRB (see box above) prior to submitting their proposal to UGR. 

This SCS224 class is encouraged to submit their research projects to SNHU Undergraduate Research Day. See the SNHU Undergraduate Research site for more information. Proposals may be submitted directly using the link below:

Conducting Social Science Research

Conducting your own original Social Science research may mean designing and executing surveys or experiments, collecting and coding data, analyzing data, and drawing conclusions from your findings. Conducting original or primary research is how scholars and students contribute to the body of scholarly knowledge. You may find the resources on research methodologies, psychological tests & assessments and databases that include datasets on this page helpful during the design and execution of your research project.

 Research Methodologies

The SCS224 course objectives & outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the nature, types, and functions of the various approaches to research
  • Articulate how various research designs, methods, techniques, and instruments are used for conducting research and/or analyzing research results
  • Locate, interpret, and critique existing research in their own field of study
  • Explain what constitutes credible and/or good research
  • Develop and defend a viable research proposal
  • Conduct research utilizing at least one qualitative method

SAGE Research Methods Database

The SAGE Research Methods database (Link below) provides definitions, tutorials, videos, cases, etc. about all the different types of research methodologies. 

SAGE Research Methods Research Tools

 Click on the Research Tools tab at the top of the screen to see the following tools to help you learn about the different methods and select the tools you need to conduct your research study.

SAGE Research Methods "Research Tools" drop-down menu with Methods Map, Project Planner and Which Stats Test? circled in red.

The Methods Map is a tool designed to help you understand how method concepts relate to one another using a visualization to understand the world of research methods more easily. The map has an entry for every method concept in SRM. It shows the definition of that term, and provides a link to the content on that subject. To the left of the term are any broader concepts related to the term, and to the right are any narrower concepts related to the term. There are also sometimes related terms below the selected entry. Clicking on a particular concept makes that concept central on the page, and shows broader, narrower and related terms for that particular concept. 

Project Planner  provides step-by-step guidance to students and researchers in designing and completing a research project. This tool is divided into chronological sections, allowing the user to start from the beginning of the research process or to navigate to specific stages. Just beginning your research project? Try Why Do Research? or Developing a Researchable Question. Problems collecting data? Navigate to Data Collection. Each section begins with a brief synopsis describing what will be covered in that stage, and ends with an interactive checklist to ensure all necessary steps have been taken. Throughout the planner, links to useful content such as video, the Methods Map, books, and journal articles are included.

Knowing which statistical test to use to answer your question is tricky. Use this simple tool to help narrow down the options!

Video: Using the SRM Methods Map

Psychological Tests and Assessments

Researchers use various tools to measure particular psychological and social phenomenon. These tools or tests are stringently reviewed for validity and reliability. When searching for tests, be sure to locate the accompanying reviews to substantiate your choice of tool prior to submitting your research proposal to the Institutional Review Board (IRB).


You may find tests listed in these databases that are available only in print format or from the creator. Check the availability and permissions to see how you might access a copy of the instrument.


You may also find information about psychological measures in books. Below are some examples:

Data Sets 

Research may be conducted using existing data sets. Demographic data sets may be used to frame further research. The library subscribes to some databases containing data sets. Others are available freely online.


Online Open Data Sets

What is Open Data?
In simple terms, Open Data means the kind of data which is open for anyone and everyone for access, modification, reuse, and sharing. Open Data derives its base from various “open movements” such as open-source, open hardware, open government, open science, etc. Governments, independent organizations, and agencies have come forward to open the floodgates of data to create more and more open data for free and easy access.(Definition from