Discussion: Weighing the Evidence
When conducting original research, the final step researchers must complete is weighing the evidence and interpreting the meanings of their data, statistics, and analyses. This is the culmination of the research process in which all of the research methods and designs can be synthesized into a meaningful conclusion. In this stage, researchers should formulate explanations for what their data indicates, determine whether the data answers their initial research question, identify areas of uncertainty, and consider directions for further research.
In this Discussion, you focus on one of the research articles that you identified for Part 2 of the Course Project (Literature Review). You then explore the process of how the researchers generated conclusions based on their data, consider other possible interpretations of their data, and formulate ideas for further research.
- Review this weekâ€™s Learning Resources, focusing on how researchers find meaning in their data and generate sound conclusions. Pay particular attention to Table 2 in the article, â€œStudy Design in Medical Research.â€
- Revisit the 5 articles that you identified in Part 2 of the Course Project. Select one to consider for the purpose of this Discussion.
- Read sections of the chosen article where the data is presented, analyzed, and interpreted for meaning. What reasoning process did the researchers use to formulate their conclusions? What explanation did they give to support their conclusions? Were there any weaknesses in their analysis or conclusions?
- Consider possible alternate conclusions that the researchers could have drawn based on their data.
- Examine the findings that the article presents and consider how well they addressed the researcherâ€™s initial question(s). What additional research could be done to build on these findings and gain a fuller understanding of the question?