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What is Scientific Research?

Scientific Research is:

  1. Research that contributes to a body of science by providing new information through ethical study design and/or

  2. Research that follows the scientific method, an iterative process of observation and inquiry.

Natural vs. Social Science
  Natural Science Social Science
Definition The natural sciences are very precise, accurate, and independent of the person making the scientific observation. The science of people or collections of people and their human activity and interactivity.
Example Disciplines
  • physical science: astronomy, chemistry, engineering, physics
  • earth science: geology
  • life science biology, botany, medicine
  • psychology
  • sociology
  • economics
  • education
  • anthropology
  • communication
  • political science
Example experiments
  • Measuring the melting point of paraffin wax
  • Measuring the molecular weight of caffeine
  • What enhances learning in primary school?
  • What contributes to poverty?
  • Why individuals engage in crime?

Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research

Qualitative research: Qualitative data are data representing information and concepts that are not represented by numbers. They are often gathered from interviews and focus groups, personal diaries and lab notebooks, maps, photographs, and other printed materials or observations. 

Qualitative methods usually use unstructured or semi-structured techniques. The sample size is typically smaller than in quantitative research.

Example: interviews and focus groups

Quantitative research: Characterized by the gathering of data to test a hypothesis. Quantitative data are data represented numerically, including anything that can be counted, measured, or given a numerical value. 

Quantitative data collection methods are more structured than qualitative data collection methods and sample sizes are usually larger.

Example: survey

From the University of Michigan-Flint's Frances Willson Thompson Library: Scientific Research & Study Design and The National Library of Medicine

Poster Presentations & Sessions Help

What is a Research Poster?

Posters are widely used in the academic community, and most conferences include poster presentations in their program.  Research posters summarize information or research concisely and attractively to help publicize it and generate discussion. 

The poster is usually a mixture of brief text mixed with tables, graphs, pictures, and other presentation formats. At a conference, the researcher stands by the poster display while other participants can come and view the presentation and interact with the author.

What Makes a Good Poster?
  • Important information should be readable from about 10 feet away
  • The title is short and draws interest
  • Word count of about 300 to 800 words
  • The text is clear and to the point
  • The use of bullets, numbering, and headlines makes it easy to read
  • Effective use of graphics, color, and fonts
  • Consistent and clean layout
  • Includes acknowledgments, your name, and institutional affiliation

From NYU Libraries' How to Create a Research Poster

Poster Basics, Design Tips, and Other Guides

Examples of Good & Bad Poster Presentations

Annotated Bibliographies

Scientific Writing Resources

Types of Journal Articles

Undergraduate Research Opportunities @ Stockton

Stockton University provides vast undergraduate research opportunities in many fields of study. See the links below to learn more: