We absorb new research in the course of our daily lives – it’s in every scroll and in every breaking news headline. At the pace we are living, it’s easy to rely on the media’s analysis of new data – clear, concise, and easy to consume – but it’s also easy for media coverage to misstate or oversimplify scientific studies.
Finding the original source and poring through seemingly endless pages of raw data sounds daunting. By the time we’re done, the world has already moved on to the next soundbite. Yet, for so many of us, it’s crucial to understand the details that don’t make it into the headlines.
This series strives to fill the need for an accessible introduction to the skills necessary for consuming and conducting research. It is intended to walk political advocates and organizers, campaign staff, nonprofit employees, and others through basic research concepts and skills. This series will provide the information necessary to learn how to read an academic research article, really understand political polls and their limitations, evaluate research proposals, design basic research studies, evaluate and interpret research findings, and communicate research to the general public.
Over the next several months, we will release written explainers covering these topics and more. We hope you will join us in learning more through Public Wise’s Research 101.
How to read an election poll
Common statistical traps
Formulating a research question
Working with previously existing data
Creating internal datasets and smart databasing
Drafting a survey