Can you refine / develop your research questions ?

posted
14-Jul-16, 13:18
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
Can you refine / develop your research questions as you read + learn more, even though data collection is already underway (as long as the data will still be adequate to answer the new/slightly changed questions?)
posted
14-Jul-16, 19:29
edited about 9 seconds later
by CR1980
Avatar for CR1980
posted about 3 years ago
Absolutely. As long as your data still answers them and it is still on topic.
posted
14-Jul-16, 20:36
edited about 22 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
Thanks. I have my first year upgrade in a week or so, and I now feel that the coding scheme is too broad, and the questions themselves are slightly too broad. Both need to be refined. So it is acceptable to discuss this and where I'm up to on how I might develop them?

I know this sounds odd but up to now (undergrad, masters) I've always come up with questions and a design to answer them and then just followed the plan. So I am a bit uncertain about what is the norm and good science when it comes to refining thoughts and plans (as opposed to being sneaky and trying to get significant results). I suppose it might be because in papers you often just read about the final product, rather than how the authors got there, what they changed along the way etc. ?
posted
14-Jul-16, 20:49
by CR1980
Avatar for CR1980
posted about 3 years ago
I think at first year upgrade point they would expect to hear about tweaks based on early learning. At mine I talked about my pilot studies and how they had helped me amend my method and focus. My eventual research questions were not the ones I started with but they were similar. In my thesis there was a section on learning and what I could have done differently but you don't see that in journals!
posted
15-Jul-16, 09:14
edited about 22 seconds later
Avatar for timefortea
posted about 3 years ago
Yes definitely! I discuss how I refined my (too broad) research question in the light of my reading about different research approaches.
posted
15-Jul-16, 09:38
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
Thanks both. Time for tea (love your name - I'm just making one now). Was that when you were already in the middle of data collection and had seen the data?
posted
15-Jul-16, 09:56
edited about 17 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
Ps. This is a quantitative project, not qualitative. So it feels there is less room for reflection. But as long as it is the norm + considered good science - that is my main concern!
posted
20-Jul-16, 09:18
Avatar for timefortea
posted about 3 years ago
I had already started collecting data and then changed direction - and so started collecting different data and treated the first lot as a sort of pilot study I suppose.
posted
20-Jul-16, 09:30
edited about 18 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
So did you start collecting different data because the first set of data wasn't adequate to address your new research direction?
posted
20-Jul-16, 10:40
Avatar for timefortea
posted about 3 years ago
Yes
posted
20-Jul-16, 15:38
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
Ok. My data will do fine to answer my refined questions. Just checking that there isn't some other reason why you need to start anew with data collection if the data are OK.

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