Term - Tentamens

bigskymanAI and Robotics

Oct 24, 2013 (3 years and 7 months ago)

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1

Term

Definition

Applied research

Uses theories to investigate real phenomena that are of relevance
for practitioners. Applied research often builds upon basic
research. It has an emphasis on solving practical problems.

Basic research

Attempts to
understand processes and their outcomes, which
form the fundaments for explaining levels of and changes in
characteristics, attitudes and behaviour. Furthermore, theory
development is mostly part of basic research. It is mostly
conducted within university
and research institutes. In business
research, basic research often provides the theoretical framework
used in applied research. Basic research is also called pure
research.


Business research

Refers to studies dealing with phenomena in the business world

including non
-
profit and (semi) governmental organizations to
guide their decisions.

Causal hypothesis

See explanatory hypothesis

Concept

A generally accepted bundle of meanings or characteristics
associated with certain events, objects, conditions, or
situations.

Conceptual scheme

The interrelationships between concepts and constructs.

Confounding
variable

An extraneous variable that influencing the relation between
independent [independent variable] and dependent variable,
similar to a moderating
variable.

Construct

A definition specifically invented for an image or idea for a given
research project.

Continuous variable

A variable that can take any value in a given range. Income,
temperature and age are examples for a continuous variable.

Control

The ability to replicate a scenario and dictate a particular
outcome; the ability to exclude, isolate, or manipulate the
influence of a variable in a study; a critical factor in inference from
an experiment, implies that all factors, with the excep
tion of the
independent variable (IV), must be held constant and not
confounded with another variable that is not part of the study


Correlation
hypothesis

Variables occur together in some specified manner without
implying that one causes the other. (See
also hypothesis)

Data warehousing

A data warehouse is an electronic repository for databases that
organizes very large into categories to facilitate retrieval, sorting
and interpretation. It is an accessible archive of information to
support dynamic organ
izational intelligence applications.

Data mining

Data mining is a technique to detect relationships and patterns in
very large databases, often organized in data warehouses [data
warehousing]. It is a tool combining exploration and discovery
with
confirmatory analysis.

Deduction

A form of inference in which the conclusion must necessarily
follow from the reasons given. If the reasons (premises) are true
and the conclusion follows necessarily from the reasons, the
deduction is valid. (See also indu
ction).

Descriptive
hypothesis

States the existence, size, form or distribution of some variable.
(See also hypothesis)

Descriptive studies

Descriptive studies sketch the current state of a phenomenon.
Attempts to describe or define a subject, often by creating a
profile of a group of problems, people or events, through the
collection of data and the tabulation of the frequencies on
research v
ariables or their interaction; the study reveals who,
what, when, where, or how much; the study concerns a univariate
question or hypothesis in which the research asks about or states
something about the size, form, distribution, or existence of a
variable

They distinct from reporting studies by providing
interpretations of the information found.

Dichotomous
variable

A variable that only can take two values. Examples are gender
(female or male) or yes
-

no variables, such as having children,
being a
foreign company. It generates nominal or ordinal data.

Double movement
of reflective thought

The sequential use of induction and deduction in research
reasoning to develop a plausible hypothesis.

Explanatory
hypothesis

Statement that describes a
relationship between two variables
with respect to some case, one variable leads to an effect on the
other variable (a.k.a. causal hypothesis).

Explanatory studies

Explanatory studies go beyond descriptive studies. They attempt
to explain the reasons for
phenomena by using theories or at
least derived hypotheses [hypothesis] and provide answers to
questions starting with why or how?

Extraneous variable

Variables to assume (because they have little affect, or their
impact is randomised) or exclude from a
research study; notation:
EV.

Hypothesis

A statement formulated for empirical testing; a tentative or
conjectural declarative belief or statement that describes the
relationship between two or more variables. One distinguishes
descriptive [descriptive hyp
othesis], u, explanatory [explanatory
hypothesis] and relational hypotheses [relational hypothesis].

Induction

To draw a conclusion from one or more particular facts or pieces
of evidence; the conclusion explains the facts.

Internal database

Internal
databases are archives of information that are kept within
an organisation and that are usually not freely accessible to
everyone. Sometimes they are organized in data warehouses
[data warehousing].

Interpretivism

A research philosophy built upon the
principles that the social
world is constructed and given subjective meanings by humans,
and that the researcher is driven by interests and part of what is
observed. It assumes that social phenomena can only be
understood if one looks at the totality and h
ow people give
meaning and interpret the social world. (See also positivism)


Intervening variable

A factor that affects the observed phenomenon but cannot be
seen, measured, or manipulated, thus its effect must be inferred
from the effects of the indepen
dent [independent variable] and
moderating variables on the dependent variable; notation: IVV.

Manager
-
researcher
relationship

Describes the responsibilities of and conflicts between the
manager contracting for the research and the firm providing or
conducting the research process.

Model

A representation of a system that is constructed to study some
aspect of that system or the system as a whole.

Moderating variable

A second independent variable, believed to have a significant
contributory or contin
gent effect on the originally stated
relationship between independent and dependent variable. The
moderating variable is also called interacting variable. Notation:
MV.

Operational
definition

A definition for a variable stated in terms of specific testing

criteria
or operations, specifying what must be counted, measured, or
gathered through our senses.

Positivism

A research philosophy that builds on the principles that the social
world can be viewed objectively, research is value free and the
researcher i
s independent. It assumes that the social world can
be observed by collecting objective facts and consists of simple
elements to which it can be reduced. See also interpretivism.

Predictive studies

Builds on theory and attempts to provide answers to the
question
what (is likely to) happen in the future. It is distinct from pure
speculation as the prediction on 'proofed' theoretical explanations,
often derived from basic research.

Proposition

A statement about concepts that may be judged as true or false
if
it refers to observable phenomena. Researchers often call a
statement derived purely from reasoning a proposition and
distinguish it from a hypothesis, which is a statement asking for
empirical testing.

Pure research

See basic research

Realism

A
research philosophy, which shares principles of positivism and
interpretivism. It accepts the existence of a reality independent of
human beliefs, but still concedes that understanding requires
acknowledgement of human subjectivity.

Relational
hypothesis

Describes the relationship between two variables with respect to
some case; relationships are co
-
relational or explanatory.

Reporting study

Provides an account or summation of some data, perhaps the
generation of some statistics, but requires little
inference or
conclusion drawing.

Research variable

See variable

Scientific method

Disciplined procedures for generating quality research including
direct observation of phenomena; clearly defined variables,
methods, and procedures; empirically testable
hypotheses; the
ability to rule out rival hypotheses; and statistical rather than
linguistic justification of conclusions

Theory

A set of systematically interrelated concepts, definitions and
propositions that are advanced to explain or predict phenomena
(facts); the generalizations we make about variables and the
relationships among variables.

Variable

A characteristic, trait, or attribute that is measured; a synonym for
a construct or the property being studied; a symbol to which
values are assigned;
includes several different types: continuous,
control, decision, dependent, dichotomous, discrete, dummy,
extraneous, independent, intervening, and moderating variables.

3

Term

Definition

Bibliographic
database

An electronic database containing the
bibliographic information
plus abstract and increasingly full texts. EBSCO is an example of
such a database. A researcher often sets up his/her own
databases with all the articles and books they have read or
referred to.

Bibliography

A list of the bibliog
raphic details (usually authors name, date of
publication, title of book or article, title of journal, pages, publisher,
editors) of the sources used, including those not referred to in the
text. Most scientific journals but also thesis guidelines ask for
a
list of references, which contains only the sources referred to in
the text.


Dictionary

Dictionaries are books explaining the meaning of a word in other
words. Next to general dictionaries, many specialized dictionaries
exists, such as dictionaries for

acronyms or specialized
dictionaries for financial terms, business terms etc. Dictionaries
are especially useful if you want to know a good definition of a
term.


Directory

Directories are books containing names, addresses and often
further data. The pho
ne directory is very simple, but could still be
used to sample people in a certain city. Specialized directories
include for example all companies in a specific sector and might
provide next to contact address details further basic information
on the firm.


Encyclopedia

Encyclopedias can be used to find some background information
on a topic. For example, if you conduct an international study, you
might use them to find the basic background information on the
countries involved in your study. Encyclopedias exist in printe
d
form but also in electronic form. The former look nicer and more
prestigious on the shelf, the latter are more convenient as they
include advanced search options and a lot of cross
-
references.


Handbook

A handbook is a collection of articles or facts
around a topic.
Those containing articles usually provide a good overview over
the current state of the field and are useful to identify the most
prominent articles and debates in the field.

Index

You find the index at the end of a book, it tells you on
which page
a specific term or name is mentioned. Index is also used for the
word bibliography.

Literature search

The process of collecting information (facts, articles, books, etc.)
relevant to the research problem. Literature search is an
important phase

at the start of your research to get acquainted
with the field.

Peer
-
reviewed

This term refers to the process how articles are selected for a
journal. Peer
-
reviewed means that peers (other notable scientists)
evaluate the quality of the article, suggest
improvements and give
their opinion on whether the article should be published in the
journal. The process of peer reviewing ensures the quality of
research published.


Portal

Web
-
sites providing a gateway to a wide array of information or
offering you ac
cess to further information, such as search
engines, directories etc.

Primary source

These are full text publications of theoretical or empirical studies.
Original works of research or raw data without interpretation or
pronouncements. Do not confuse it
with primary data. (see also
secondary sources)

Search query

A statement combining different terms with logical operators, such
as "and", "or", "not", "smaller than" etc. to search a database. It is
advisable to generate a list of alternative key terms an
d combine
those to various search queries.

Secondary source

Compilations of information in printed or electronic form and
subsequent forms of publications of primary sources. Including
interpretations of primary sources. Do not confuse it with
secondary
data.


4

Term

Definition

Code of ethics

A comprehensive source that contains the firm's policies with
respect to ethical conduct [ethics]; effective codes are regulative,
protect the public interest, are behaviour specific, and are
enforceable.

Confidentiality

A privacy guarantee to retain validity of the research, as well as to
protect respondents. It can refer to the sponsor, i.e. the sponsor
of the study remains unknown to the respondents, and to the
respondents, i.e. the information provided
by the respondents will
only be revealed in a form that guarantees that an individual
respondent cannot be identified and linked to the information
provided.


Debriefing

Explains the truth to participants and describes the major goals of
the research
study and the reasons after deception has been
used.

Deception

When respondents are told only part of the truth or the truth is
fully compromised to prevent biasing respondents or to protect
sponsor confidentiality. Balancing deception and informed
consen
t is an important ethical issue.

Ethics

Norms or standards of behaviour that guide moral choices about
research behaviour.

Falsification

Refers to the intentional change or fabrication of data and results.
It is a serious ethical offence.

Findings
nondisclosure

A type of confidentiality, when the sponsor restricts the researcher
from revealing the findings of the research project to third parties
and does not allow publishing of the results (see also
nondisclosure).

Informed consent

Respondent give
s full consent to participation after receiving full
disclosure of the procedures of the proposed survey. (See also
deception)

Nondisclosure

Various types of confidentiality involving research projects,
including sponsor, findings and purpose
nondisclosures.

Plagiarism

Means you use (parts of the) work of others and claim that it is
your own work. It is a serious violation of copy
-
rights

Purpose
nondisclosure

A type of confidentiality; when the sponsor camouflages the true
research objective of the research project, often to mitigate biased
answer behaviour of the respondent (see also nondisclosure).

Right to privacy

The respondent's right to refuse to be inte
rviewed or to refuse to
answer any questions in an interview. Furthermore, it is closely
related to confidentiality. A researcher, who has obtained
information from others, is not allowed to use this information in a
way that might harm the provider of the

information.

Right to quality

The client's right to a research design appropriate for the research
question, maximum value for the resources expended, and data
handling and reporting techniques appropriate for the data
collected.

Right to quality

Describes the obligations researchers have when the conduct
research

Right to safety

The right of interviewers, surveyors, experimenters, observers,
and subjects to be protected from any threat of physical or
psychological harm.

Sponsor
nondisclosure

A
type of confidentiality; when the sponsor of the research
disassociates itself from the sponsorship of the research project
(see also nondisclosure)


5

Term

Definition

Asymmetrical
relationship

A relationship in which we postulate that change in one
variable
(independent variable) is responsible for change in another
variable (dependent variable).

Case study

Emphasizes the full and detailed contextual analysis of a single or
fewer events or conditions and their interrelations for a single
subject or
respondent. It often relies on multiple sources to
crosscheck the obtained information.

Causal study

Attempts to reveal the relationship between variables (A produces
B or causes B to occur)

Causation

The essential element of causation is that A produces

B or forces
B to occur. Causation is always based on an inductive [induction]
conclusion and are therefore a probabilistic statement, as we can
not account for all possible, imaginable and unimaginable
processes which may drive the relation between A and
B.

Control group

A group of subjects (respondents) that is not exposed to the
independent variable IV being studied but still generates a
measure for the dependent variable DV. Comparing the outcomes
of the DV for the control and experimental group
allows an
assessment of the IV
-
DV relationship.

Cross
-
sectional
study

The study is conducted only once and reveals a snapshot of one
point in time

Experiment

Studies involving intervention (manipulation of one or more
variables) by the researcher beyond
that required for
measurement to determine the effect on another variable.

Ex post facto
design

Researchers have no ability to manipulate the variables, but can
report what has happened or is happening to the variables. This
design is very common in
business research.

Experience survey

An exploratory technique where knowledgeable experts share
their ideas about important issues or aspects of the subject and
relate what is important across the subject's range of experience;
usually involves a personal

or phone interview.

Field condition

The actual environmental conditions where the research studies
occurs.

Focus group

An information collection approach widely used in exploratory
studies involving a panel of subjects led by a trained moderator
that
meets for 90 minutes to two hours; the moderator uses group
dynamics to explore ideas, feelings, and experiences on a
specific topic; can be conducted in person or via phone

Formal study

Begins with a hypothesis or research question and involves
precise p
rocedures and data source specifications; tests the
hypothesis or answers the research questions posed.

Interrogation /
communication
study

The researcher questions the subjects and collects their
responses by personal or impersonal means

Laboratory
conditions

Studies that occur under conditions that do not simulate actual
environmental conditions.

Longitudinal study

The study is repeated over an extended period of time, tracking
changes in variables over time; includes panels or cohort groups.

Matc
hing

A process analogous to quota sampling for assigning subjects to
experimental and control groups by having subjects match every
descriptive characteristic used in the research; used when
random assignment is not possible; an attempt to eliminate the
ef
fect of confounding variables that groups subjects so the
confounding variable is present proportionally in each group.

Monitoring

See observation study

Post hoc fallacy

Describes unwarranted conclusions, as causation is difficult to
establish with an ex

post facto research that does not allow
manipulating the independent variable and isolating multiple
causes.

Primary data

Original research where the data being collected are designed
specifically to answer the research question.

Qualitative
techniques

A fundamental approach of exploration and analysis, including in
-
depth interviews, participant observation, videotaping of subjects,
projective techniques and psychological testing, case studies,
street ethnography, elite interviewing and document and cont
ent
analysis.

Random
assignment

A process that uses a randomised sample frame for assigning
subjects to experimental [experimental group] and control groups
in an attempt to assure that the groups are as comparable as
possible with respect to the dependen
t variables; each subject
must have an equal chance for exposure to each level of the
independent variable. A.k.a randomisation.

Randomisation

See random assignment

Reciprocal
relationship

Two variables mutually influence or reinforce each other.

Secondary data

Studies done by others and for different purposes than for which
the data are being reviewed and reused.

Simulations

A study in which the conditions of a system or process are
replicated.

Statistical study


A study that attempts to capture a population's characteristics by
making inferences from a sample's characteristics; involves
hypothesis testing and is more comprehensive than a case study

Subjects'
perceptions

The subtle or major changes that occur in
subjects responses
when they perceive that a research study is being conducted


6

Term

Definition

Area sampling

A type of cluster sampling usually applied to a population in a
specific spatial area with well
-
defined political or natural
boundaries but
without a detailed sample frame; population is
divided into homogeneous clusters from which a single
-
stage or
multistage sample is drawn.

Case study
research

See case study

Census

A sample that contains all element of the population. For example
for the
UK census all people (~ 59 millions) living in the UK are
interviewed

Central limit
theorem

For sufficiently large samples (n > 30), the sample means of
repeatedly drawn samples will be distributed around the
population mean approximately in a normal
distribution.

Cluster sampling

A sampling plan that involves dividing the population into clusters
or subgroups, and then drawing a sample from each subgroup in
a single
-
stage or multi
-
stage design.

Confidence interval

The combination of interval range
and the degree of confidence.
We are confident (to the stated degree) that the true value of
mean lies within the interval.

Convenience
samples

A low
-
cost but less reliable non
-
probability sample where element
selection is unrestricted or left to those el
ements easily accessible
by the researcher. For example, if you want to investigate
bookshops and select those you know.

Double sampling

A procedure for selecting a sub sample from a sample for further
study; a.k.a. sequential sampling or multiphase
sampling. Such a
sampling design is especially useful if you are only interested in a
specific sub
-
group of the total population, but do not know which
subject of the population belongs to the specific subgroup.

Judgment sampling

A type of purposive sampl
ing in which the researcher arbitrarily
selects elements to conform to some criterion.

Multiphase
sampling

See double sampling.

Multiple case study

Research based on more than one case study. For example, a
research investigating a phenomenon not only in

one firm but in
two or three firm and also tries to relate the results obtained in the
different firms.

Non
-
probability
sampling

A non
-
random and subjective procedure where each population
element does not have a known non
-
zero chance of being
included,
as the probability of selecting population elements is
unknown.

Population

The total collection of elements (people, firms, decisions etc.)
about which we wish to make some inferences.

Population element

The individual subject on which the measurement is

taken; a.k.a.
the population unit, case, subject or record.

Population
parameters

Summary descriptors of variables (e.g. incidence, mean,
variance) of interest in the population.

Population
proportion of
incidence

The number of elements in the
population belonging to the
category of interest, divided by the total number of elements in the
population.

Probability
sampling

A controlled, randomised procedure that assures that each
population element is given a known non
-
zero chance of
selection.

Quota sampling

A type of purposive sampling in which relevant characteristics are
used to stratify the sample in an attempt to improve the
representativeness of the sample. Another motive for using quota
sampling is to ensure that elements with a certain r
arely occurring
characteristic, which is important to the research, are included in
the sample.


Random error

Error that occurs erratically, without pattern; see also sampling
error.

Replication logic

The rationale of case study research. If a case study

offers
support for a specific theoretical proposition, replicating the
research in slightly different setting through a new case study
reinforces the theoretical proposition.

Sample statistics

Descriptors of the relevant variables computed from sample da
ta

Sampling

The process of selecting some elements from a population to
represent the population as a whole

Sampling error

A reflection of the influences of chance in drawing the sample
from the population; the error not accounted for by systematic
variance

Sampling frame

A list of elements in the population from which the sample is
actually drawn, such as a directory.

Sequential
sampling

See double sampling.

Simple cluster
sampling

A cluster sampling procedure with only one phase, thus we
sample
clusters and take all elements within the cluster. If all
clusters have the same size, this is analogous to simple random
sampling.

Simple random
sample

A probability sample in which each element has a known and
equal chance of selection.

Single case
study

A research using one case study, e.g., one particular firm or event
to investigate a phenomenon.

Snowball sampling

A non
-
probability sampling procedure in which initial sample
elements, which may or may not have been chosen by probability
techniques
, refer to additional sample elements based on similar
characteristics. For example you start interviewing people
interested in starting a business selected from an address list of a
seminar on entrepreneurship and ask them if they know other
people who in
tend to start a business.


Sources of
evidence

Refers to the sources where you get the information from to
describe phenomena or measure variables. They include formal
and informal interviews, documents, databases etc.

Standard error of
the mean

A
measure of the standard deviation of the distribution of sample
means

Stratified random
sampling

A probability sampling technique where the sample is constrained
to include elements from each of the mutually exclusive segments
or strata within a
population

Stratified random
sampling
-
disproportionate

A probability sampling technique in which each stratum's size is
not proportionate to the stratum's share of the population;
allocation is usually based on variability of measures expected
from the
stratum, cost of sampling from a given stratum, and size
of the various strata.

Stratified random
sampling
-
proportionate

A probability sampling technique in which each stratum is properly
represented so the sample drawn from it is proportionate to the
stratum's share of the population; higher statistical efficiency than
a simple random sample

Systematic
sampling

A complex probability sampling technique in which the population
(
N
) is divided by the desired sample (
n
) to obtain a skip pattern
(
k
). Using
a random start between 1
-

k
, each
k
th

element is
chosen from the sample frame; usually treated as a simple
random sample but statistically more efficient.

Systematic variance

The variation in measures due to some known or unknown
influences that cause th
e scores or measurements to skew in one
direction or another; see also systematic error.

Triangulation

A process of verifying information through multiple sources to
increase the validity of the description of what is observed.
Triangulation is especially

important in case study research.

Unit of analysis

It refers to the level at which the phenomenon occurs and at
which the research needs to be conducted. For example if you
want to investigate internationalisation strategies, you might
select firms as un
it of analysis, but depending on the explanations
you are looking for it might be better to investigate a firm's
decision to enter a foreign market.



7

Term

Definition

Call
-
backs

Procedure involving repeated attempts to make contact with a
targeted
respondent to ensure that the targeted respondent is
reached and motivated to participate in the study. They are
important to reduce the non
-
response error.

Communication
approach

A study approach involving questioning or surveying people (by
personal
interview, telephone, mail, computer, or some
combination of these) and recording their responses for analysis.

Computer
-
administered
telephone survey

A study conducted wholly by computer contact between
respondent and interviewer, where questions are eit
her appear on
the computer or are voice
-
synthesized and data are tallied
continuously.

Computer
-
assisted
personal
interviewing (CAPI)

A personal, face
-
to
-
face interview where the researcher may be
guided by computer
-
sequenced questions, where data may be
entered as responses are given, or where visualization
techniques may be provided digitally to each participant.

Computer
-
assisted
telephone
interviewing (CATI)

A study conducted wholly by telephone contact between
respondent and interviewer where intervi
ew is software
-
driven,
usually in a central location with interviewers in acoustically
isolated interviewing carrels; data are tallied, as they are
collected.

Control dimension

In quota sampling, a descriptor used to define the sample's
characteristics (e
.g. age, education, religion, etc.).

Intercept interview

A face
-
to
-
face communication that approaches passers
-
by to
participate in an interview in a centralized location, such as a
shopping centre.

Interviewer error

Error that results from interviewer
influence of the respondent;
includes problems with motivation, instructions, voice inflections,
body language, question or response order, or cheating via
falsification of one or more responses.

Mail survey

A relatively low cost self
-
administered [self
-
administered
questionnaire] study, where the respondent receives a
questionnaire by mail and also returns it by mail. Email is also
increasingly used to distribute mail surveys.

Non
-
contact rate

Ratio of pote
ntial Non
-
contacts (no answer, busy, answering
machine, and disconnects) to all potential contacts.

Non
-
response error

Error that develops when an interviewer cannot locate the person
with whom the study requires communication or when the
targeted respond
ent refuses to participate; especially troublesome
in studies using probability sampling.

Panels

A technique for longitudinal survey work using the same
respondents repeatedly over time, using personal, phone, and
computer interviewing as well as
self
-
administered [self
-
administered questionnaire] survey techniques; the use of mail
-
delivered diaries is common.

Participant initiated
error

They occur if participants do not fully answer the questions or
even lie either on purpose or because they do n
ot have the
knowledge

Personal interview

A face
-
to
-
face, two
-
way communication initiated by an interviewer
to obtain information from a respondent.

Probing

Techniques for stimulating respondents to answer more fully and
relevantly to posed questions.

Random dialing
procedures

A procedure for bypassing out
-
of
-
date phone directories that
requires choosing phone exchanges or exchange blocks and then
generating random numbers within these blocks for calling. In
certain countries law restricts the use of ra
ndom dialing.

Refusal rate

Ratio of respondents who decline the interview to all
potential/eligible contacts.

Response error

Error created when the data reported differs from the actual data.

Sampling error

A reflection of the influences of chance in
drawing the sample
from the population; the error not accounted for by systematic
variance

Self
-
administered
questionnaire

A survey delivered to the respondent via personal (intercept) or
non
-
personal (computer
-
delivered, mail delivered) means that is
com
pleted by the respondent without additional contact with an
interviewer. See also mail survey.

Survey

A means of questioning a respondent via a collection of questions
and instructions for both the respondent and the interviewer; a.k.a

questionnaire or instrument

Telephone interview

A study conducted wholly by telephone contact between
respondent and interviewer.

Web
-
based
questionnaire

Special surveys designed to be delivered via the Internet with
data capture and processing a potential part of the process. Two
options currently exist: proprietary solutions offered through
research firms and off
-
the
-
shelf software for researchers who
pos
sess the necessary knowledge and skills.


8

Term

Definition

Audience

The intended reader of the secondary source; one of the five
factors used to evaluate the value of a secondary source.

Authority

The credibility of a secondary source as indicated by
the
credentials of the author and publisher; one of five factors used to
evaluate the value of a secondary source.

Classification

In data mining, using a set of reclassified examples to develop a
model that can group or classify the population of recor
ds at
large.

Clustering

A data mining technique that assigns each data record to a group
or segment automatically by clustering algorithms that identify the
similar characteristics in the data set and then partition them into
groups.

Data mart

Intermediate storage facilities that compile locally required
information.

Data mining

Data mining is a technique to detect relationships and patterns in
very large databases, often organized in data warehouses [data
warehousing]. It is a tool combining
exploration and discovery
with confirmatory analysis.

Data visualization

The process of viewing aggregate data on multiple dimensions to
gain a deeper, intuitive understanding of the data.

Data warehousing

A data warehouse is an electronic repository for

databases that
organizes very large amounts of data into categories to facilitate
retrieval, sorting and interpretation. It is an accessible archive of
information to support dynamic organizational intelligence
applications.

Decision tree
models

A data m
ining technique that segregates data by using a
hierarchy of if
-
then statements based on the values of variables
and creates a tree
-
shaped structure that represents the
segregation decisions; used with interval or categorical data.

Effect size statistics

It is used in meta analysis and describes the statistics which
transform effect statistics of different empirical studies into one
single effect.

Format

How the information is presented and how easy it is to find a
specific piece of information within a
secondary source; one of
five factors used to evaluate the value of a secondary source.

Fractal based
transformation

A technique that can work on gigabytes of data and offers the
possibility of identifying tiny subsets of data that have common
characteris
tics.

Fuzzy logic

An extension of conventional (Boolean) logic that handles the
concept of partial truth
--
with truth values between 'completely
true" and "completely false"; used in more complex data mining.

Genetic algorithms

Optimisation

techniques for search and identification of
meaningful relationships.

Handbook

A handbook is collection of articles or facts around a topic. Those
containing articles usually provide a good overview over the
current state of the field and are useful to
identify the most
prominent articles and debates in the field.

Index

Next to the index you find at the end of a book and which tells you
on which page a specific term or name is mentioned, index is also
used for the word bibliography.

Market
-
basket
analysis

The most common form of association, which studies patterns of
products purchased together; used to change store layout, adjust
inventories or target promotional campaigns.

Meta analysis

A technique to quantitatively analyse and summarise

different
empirical studies on the same research problem.

Neural networks

Collections of sample processing nodes plus their connections,
resulting in a non
-
linear predictive model that resembles biological
neural networks.

Pattern recognition

A
technique used in data mining to structure vast amount of
information.

Primary source

These are full text publications of theoretical or empirical studies.
Original works of research or raw data without interpretation or
pronouncements. Do not confuse it
with primary data (see also
secondary sources).

Purpose

What the author (or in the case of many internet sites, the
collective authors in an institution) is trying to accomplish with the
secondary source; one of five factors in secondary source
evaluation.

Reactivity response

The phenomenon where subjects alter their behaviour due to the
presence of the observer.

Record analysis

The extraction of data from current or historical records, either
private or in the public domain; a technique of dat
a mining.

Scope

The degree of comprehensiveness of coverage of a secondary
source (by time frame, topics, geography, etc.); one of the five
factors for evaluating the quality of secondary sources.

Secondary data

Studies done by others and for different
purposes than for which
the data are being reviewed.

Sequence
-
based
analysis

A variant of traditional market
-
basket analysis, used to tie
together a series of activities or purchases, taking into account
not only the association of items but their order.

Source evaluation

The five
-
factor process for evaluating the quality and value
secondary sources and also secondary data (see purpose, scope,
authority, audience, and format)

Secondary source

Compilations of information in printed or electronic form and
subsequent forms of publications of primary sources. Including
interpretations of primary sources. Do not confuse it with
secondary data.


9

Term

Definition

Action Research

A research approach that emphasizes that interplay between
research and specific

actions to achieve desired changes.

Concealment

A technique in an observation study where the observer is
shielded from the subject to avoid behaviour modification by the
subject caused by observer presence; this is accomplished by
one
-
way mirrors, hidde
n cameras, hidden microphones, etc.

Direct observation

When the observer is physically present and personally monitors
and records the behaviour of the subject.

Ethnographic
studies

Research approach that emphasizes the description and
interpretation of
the social world by primary qualitative [qualitative
research] information collection, such as direct observation.

Event sampling

The process of selecting some elements or behavioural acts or
conditions from a population of observable behaviour

or
conditions to represent the population as a whole.

Extra linguistic
behaviour

The recording of vocal, temporal, interaction, and verbal stylistic
behaviours of human subjects.

Indirect observation

When the recording of data is done by mechanical,
photographic,
or electronic means. For example if you study videotapes showing
how children interact in a group.

Linguistic
behaviour

The observation of human verbal behaviour during conversation,
presentation, or interaction; may also include content ana
lysis.

Non
-
verbal
behaviour

Observation of human behaviour without the use of conversation
between observers and subjects (e.g. body movement, facial
expressions, exchanged glances, eye blinks).

Observation

The full range of monitoring behavioural

and non
-
behavioural
activities and conditions (including record analysis, physical
condition analysis, physical process analysis, nonverbal analysis,
linguistic analysis, extra linguistic analysis, and spatial analysis).

Observational
checklist

A
measurement instrument where observed data are recorded;
analogous to a questionnaire in a communication study.

Observational study

A monitoring approach to collecting data where the researcher
inspects the activities of a subject or the nature of some ma
terial
without attempting to elicit responses from anyone.

Observer drift

A source of error in an observation study caused by decay in
reliability or validity of recorded observations over time that affects
the coding of categories.

Participant
observation

When the observer acts as both observer and participant with the
subjects; the observer can be known or concealed.

Physical condition
analysis

The collection of data from the observation of current conditions,
including inventory, signs, obsta
cles or hazards, cleanliness, etc.

Physical trace

A type of observation that collects measures of wear data
(erosion) and accretion data (measures of deposit) rather than
direct observation (e.g. a study of trash).

Simple observation

Another term for
data collection during the exploratory phase of a
study. See also observation.

Spatial
relationships

The recording of human behaviour and how humans physically
relate to each other, including proxemics

(the study of how people
organize the territory around them and the discrete distances they
maintain between themselves and others).

Systematic error

Error that results from a bias; see also systematic variance.

Systematic
observation

Data collection
through observation that employs standardized
procedures, trained observers, schedules for recording and other
devices for the observer that mirror the scientific procedures of
other primary data methods.

Time sampling

The process of selecting some time points or intervals to observe
elements, acts, or conditions from a population of observable
behaviour or conditions to represent the population as a whole;
three types include time
-
point samples, time
-
interval samples or

continuous real
-
time samples.


Unobtrusive
measures

A set of observational approaches which encourage creative and
imaginative forms of indirect observation, archival searches, and
variations on simple and contrived observation, including physical
traces

observation (erosion and accretion).


10

Term

Definition



Case study research

A research approach that investigates the
phenomenon in question in its context. It is the
most suitable research if the number of variables
that needs to be considered is very large and if
the phenomena and its antecedents can not yet
be clearly distingui
shed.

Direct questions

Questions that ask the respondent to provide
her/his own view on a matter.

Follow
-
up questions

Questions that are asked to motivate the
respondents to elaborate deeper on an answer
given.

Indirect questions

Questions that do not
ask for what the
respondent thinks, but what is generally thought
according to her/him.

Interpreting questions

In such questions the interviewer repeats the
answers of the respondents and asks whether
the interviewer’s interpretation of the answer is
co牲
ect.

Interview guide

A guide that states which topics should be
covered in the interview and which information is
sought

Introductory questions

General questions that are asked to collect basic
information on the respondent and that are
usually easy to a
nswer.

Multiple case study

A case study research that relies on more than
one case, i.e. the phenomenon in question is
investigated in different settings; each setting is a
single case.

Probing questions

Similar to follow
-
up questions, but they address a

part of the answer more specifically by asking for
additional broader information

Replication logic

The rationale of case study research. If a case
study offers support for a specific theoretical
proposition, replicating the research in slightly
differen
t setting through a new case study
reinforces the theoretical proposition

Semi
-
structured
interviews

In a semi
-
structured interview, the researcher
formulates the questions before the interview, but
usually does not offer the respondent a choice
among ans
wer alternatives, i.e. the questions are
open. Moreover, it is possible to deepen an
answer to a specific question by asking additional
questions.

Sources of evidence

Refers to the sources where you get the
information from to describe phenomena or
measur
e variables. They include formal and
informal interviews, documents, databases,
observations etc.

Specifying questions

Questions that ask the respondent to explain an
answer more deeply.

Structured interviews

In a structured interview the questions and
the
possible answers are defined ex
-
ante. Self
-
administered questionnaires are a typical
example of structured interviews.

Structuring questions

Questions that are asked to allow a smooth
transition to a new topic.

Triangulation

A process of verifying
information through
multiple sources to increase the validity of the
description of what is observed. Triangulation is
especially important in case study research.

Unstructured interviews

In an unstructured interview, the researcher
rather defines topic a
reas that will addressed in
the interview and is flexible to change the course
of the interview depending on the answers given.


11

Term

Definition

Active factors

Those independent variables (IV) the researcher can manipulate
by causing the subject to
receive one treatment level or another.

Blind

A condition that exists when subjects do not know if they are
being exposed to the experimental treatment. See also double
blind.

Blocking factors

A variable on which the researcher can only identify and
classify a
subject
--
not manipulate (e.g. gender, age, customer status, etc.);
these are often the classification variables within a questionnaire.

Causal method

See causal study.

Control group

A group of subjects (respondents) that is not exposed to the
independent variable IV being studied but still generates a
measure for the dependent variable DV. Comparing the outcomes
of the DV for the control and experimental group allows an
assessment of the IV
-
DV relationship.

Dependent variable
(DV)

The variable

measured, predicted [predictive study], or otherwise
monitored by the researcher, expected to be affected by a
manipulation of the independent variable. Notation usually DV.

Double blind
(study)

A condition that exists when neither the researchers nor
the
subjects know when a subject is being exposed to the
experimental treatment (IV). See also blind.

Environmental
control

Holding constant the (physical) environment of the experiment.

Experiment

Studies involving intervention (manipulation of one or
more
variables) by the researcher beyond that required for
measurement to determine the effect on another variable.

Experimental
treatment

The manipulated independent variable.

External validity

When an observed causal relationship can be generalized
across
persons, settings, and times.

Factor

In experiments it denotes an independent variable (IV); these are
divided into treatment levels for the experiment.

Factorial survey

A survey technique in which subjects are asked to assess pre
-
described
situations, which are made up from different
combinations of vignettes. A.k.a. vignette studies. (See also
conjoint analysis)

Field experiment

A study that occurs under the actual environmental conditions
where the dependent variable occurs and is measure
d.

Hypothesis

A statement formulated for empirical testing; a tentative or
conjectural declarative belief or statement that describes the
relationship between two or more variables. One distinguishes
descriptive [descriptive hypothesis], u, explanatory
[explanatory
hypothesis] and relational hypotheses [relational hypothesis].


Independent
variable (IV)

The variable manipulated by the researcher, which causes an
effect or change on the dependent variable. Notation IV

Interaction effect

The influence
that one moderating factor has on the relationship
between an independent and a dependent variable.

Internal validity

The ability of a research instrument to measure what it is
purported to measure; when the conclusion(s) drawn about a
demonstrated experi
mental relationship truly implies cause.

Main effects

The average direct influence that a particular treatment has on the
DV independent of other factors.

Matching

A process analogous to quota sampling for assigning subjects to
experimental and control
groups by having subjects match every
descriptive characteristic used in the research; used when
random assignment is not possible; an attempt to eliminate the
effect of confounding variables that groups subjects so the
confounding variable is present prop
ortionally in each group.


Negative leniency
(error)

An error that results when the respondent is consistently a hard or
critical rater.

Operationalised

The process of transforming concepts and constructs into
measurable variables suitable for testing.

Quasi
-
experiment

A research strategy, in which the researcher frames a real
situation as an experiment without having the possibility of
random assignment and manipulation.

Quota matrix

A means of visualizing and organising the matching process.

Random
assignment

A process that uses a randomised sample frame for assigning
subjects to experimental [experimental group] and control groups
in an attempt to assure that the groups are as comparable as
possible with respect to the dependent variables; each subj
ect
must have an equal chance for exposure to each level of the
independent variable. A.k.a randomisation.


Replication

The process of repeating an experiment with different subject
groups and conditions to determine the average effect of the IV
across pe
ople, situations, and times.

Test unit

An alternative term for a subject within an experiment; it can be a
person, an animal, a machine, a geographic entity, etc.

Treatment level

The arbitrary or natural groupings within the independent variable
of an
experiment.

Vignette research

See factorial survey


12

Term

Definition

Arbitrary scales

Universal practice of ad hoc scale development used by
instrument designers to create scales that is highly specific to the
practice or object being studied.

Categorization

A type of scale in which the respondents put themselves or
property indicants in groups or categories.

Central tendency
(error)

An error that results because the respondent is reluctant to give
extreme judgments, usually due to lack of
knowledge.

Comparative scale

A scale where the respondent evaluates an object against a
standard using a numeric, graphical, or verbal scale.

Conjoint analysis

A technique that uses input from non
-
numeric independent
variables to secure part
-
worth's that represent the importance of
each aspect in the subject's overall assessment; used to measure
complex decision making (e.g. consumer purchase behaviour)
that requ
ires multi attribute judgments; produces a scale value for
each attribute or property. See also factorial survey.


Consensus scaling

Scale development by a panel of experts evaluating instrument
items based on topical relevance and lack of ambiguity.

Construct validity

The degree to which a research instrument is able to measure or
infer the presence of an abstract property. See also validity.

Content validity

The degree to which a research instrument provides adequate
coverage of the topic under stud
y. See also validity.

Criterion
-
related
validity

The success of measures used for prediction or estimation; types
are predictive and concurrent. See also validity.

Cumulative scaling

A scale development technique in which scale items are tested
based on

a scoring system, where agreement with one extreme
scale item results also in endorsement of all other items that take
a less extreme position.

Equal
-
appearing
interval scale

An expensive, time
-
consuming type of consensus scaling which
results in an
interval rating scale for attitude measurement, a.k.a.
Thurston scale.

Factor scales

Types of scales that deal with multidimensional content and
underlying dimensions, such as scalogram, factor, and cluster
analyses, and metric and non metric multidimensi
onal scaling.

Fixed sum scale

A scale where the respondent assigns mostly 100 points to
different continuous or discrete categories, e.g. how much time he
spends on average per day on specified activities, such as paid
working, commuting, child care,
household work, leisure. It
generates interval data.

Forced ranking
scale

A scale where the respondent orders several objects or properties
of objects; faster than paired comparison to obtain a rank order.

Graphic rating scale

A scale where the ratter places his or her response along a line or
continuum; the score or measurement is its distance in millimetres
from either end point.

Halo effect (error)

A systematic bias that the rater introduces by carrying over a
generalized
impression of the subject from one rating to another.

Internal
consistency

A characteristic of measurement in which an instrument measures
consistency among responses of a single respondent. See also
reliability

Interval data

Data with order and distance

but no unique origin; data which
incorporate equality of interval (the distance between one
measure and the next measure); e.g. temperature scale.

Item analysis
scaling

Scale development where instrument designers develop
instrument items and test them with a group of respondents;
individual items are analysed to determine those, which highly
discriminate between persons or objects; e.g. Likert scale and
summated scale.

Leniency (error)

An error that results when the respondent is consistently an easy
or reluctant rater, for example the rater is very optimistic in his
judgment, or very pessimistic.

Likert scale

A variation of the summated rating scale, this scale asks a rater to
agree or disagree with statements that express either favourable
or unfavourable attitudes toward the object. The strength of
attitude is reflected in the assigned score and individual sc
ores
may be totalled for an overall attitude measure.

Mapping rule

Developing and applying a set of rules for assigning numbers to
empirical events.

Measurement

Assigning numbers to empirical events in compliance with a
mapping rule.

Multidimensional
scaling (MSD)

A scaling technique for objects or people where the instrument
scale seeks to measure more than one attribute of the
respondents or object; results are usually mapped; develops a
geometric picture or map of the locations of some objects relat
ive
to others on various dimensions or properties; especially useful
for difficult
-
to
-
measure constructs.


Multiple choice
-
multiple response
scale

A scale that offers respondent multiple options and solicits one or
more answers (nominal or ordinal data);
a.k.a. checklist.

Multiple choice
-
single response
scale

A measurement question that poses more than two responses but
seeks a single answer, or one that seeks a single rating from a
gradation of preference, interest or agreement (nominal or ordinal
data);

a.k.a multiple choice question.

Multiple rating list

A numerical scale where raters circle their responses and the
layout allows visualization of the results (generates interval data).

Nominal data

Data without the properties of order, distance, or
origin but
capable of being partitioned into mutually exclusive and
collectively exhaustive categories.

Numerical scales

A scale where equal intervals separate the numeric scale points,
while verbal anchors serve as labels for the extreme points.

Objects

Concepts of ordinary experience, like people, books, autos,
genes, or peer
-
group pressures.

Ordinal data

Data with order, but no distance or unique origin; data capable of
determining greater than, equal to, or less than status of a
property or an
object.

Paired
-
comparison
scale

The respondent chooses a preferred object between several pairs
of objects on some property; results in a rank ordering of objects.

Practicality

A characteristic of sound measurement concerned with a wide
range of factors
of economy, convenience, and interpretability.

Properties

Characteristics of objects; a person's properties are his weight,
height, posture, hair colour, etc.

Proximity

An index of perceived similarity or dissimilarity between objects.

Ranking scale

A
measurement approach that asks the respondent to make
comparisons among two or more objects or properties in relation
to each other using a numeric scale, thus providing a relative
order of those factors (ordinal or interval data). See also ranking
questio
n.


Rating scale

A measurement approach that asks the respondent to score an
object or property without making a direct comparison to another
object and thus position each factor on a companion scale, either
verbal, numeric, or graphic (ordinal or
interval data). See also
rating question.


Ratio data

Data with order, distance, equal intervals (distance), and unique
origin; numbers used as measurements have numerical value;
e.g. weight of an object.

Reliability

A characteristic of measurement
concerned with accuracy,
precision, and consistency; a necessary but not sufficient
condition for validity (if the measure is not reliable, it cannot be
valid, but reliable measures are not necessarily valid).

Reliability
-
equivalence

A characteristic of m
easurement in which an instrument can
secure consistent results with repeated measures by the same
investigator or by different samples.

Reliability
-
stability

A characteristic of measurement in which an instrument can
secure consistent results with repeat
ed measurements of the
same person.

Respondent

Another term for a participant in a communication study.

Scaling

The assignment of numbers or symbols to an indicant of a
property of objects to impart some of the characteristics of the
numbers to the
property

Scalogram

A procedure for determining whether a set of items forms a
unidimensional scale and is therefore appropriate for scaling

Semantic
differential scale

A scale that measures the psychological meanings of an attitude
object and produces
interval data; uses bipolar nouns, noun
phrases, adjectives, or nonverbal stimuli such as visual sketches.

Simple category
scale

A scale with two response choices; a.k.a dichotomous scale.

Stability

A characteristic of measurement in which an instrument
can
secure consistent results with repeated measurements of the
same person. See also reliability.

Stapel scale

A numerical scale with up to 10 categories (5 positive, 5 negative)
where the central position is an attribute. The higher the positive
number, the more accurately the attribute describes the object or
its indicant.

Successive
intervals

Infrequently used process for ordering many objects where the
respondent groups objects on properties by allocating cards to
piles or groups representing
a succession of values or importance
of properties.

Unidimensional
scale

Instrument scale that seeks to measure only one attribute of the
respondents or object.

Validity

A characteristic of measurement concerned that a test measures
what the researcher
actually wishes to measure; that differences
found with a measurement tool reflect true differences among
respondents drawn from a population. See also construct validity,
content validity, criterion
-
related validity.


13

Term

Definition

Administrative
questions

A type of measurement question that identifies the respondent,
interviewer, interview location, and conditions (usually nominal
data).

Branched questions

A type of measurement question that determines the respondent's
path (question sequencing)
in a study; the answer to one question
assumes other questions have been asked or answered, and
directs the respondent to answer specific questions that follow
and skip other questions

Buffer question

A type of neutral measurement question designed
chiefly to
establish rapport with the respondent (usually nominal data or
qualitative data).

Checklist

A measurement question that poses numerous alternatives and
encourages multiple responses, but where relative order of those
responses is not important
(nominal data).

Classification
question

A type of measurement question that provides sociological
-
demographic variables for use in grouping respondent's answers
nominal, ordinal, interval or ratio data).

Closed
question/response

A type of measurement
question that presents the respondent
with a fixed set of choices (nominal, ordinal or interval data).

Dichotomous
question

A measurement question that poses two opposing responses
(nominal or ordinal data).

Disguised question

A measurement question
designed to conceal the question’s and
study’s true purpose.

Double
-
barrelled
question

A type of multiple questions that includes two or more questions
in one that the respondent might need to answer differently to
preserve the accuracy of the data.

Filter question

A question used to qualify the respondent's knowledge about the
target questions of interest.

Focus group

An information collection approach widely used in exploratory
studies involving a panel of subjects led by a trained moderator
that
meets for 90 minutes to two hours; the moderator uses group
dynamics to explore ideas, feelings, and experiences on a
specific topic; can be conducted in person or via phone

Free
-
response
question

A type of measurement question to which the respondent
pro
vides the answer without the aid of an interviewer (either in
phone, personal interview or self
-
administered surveys); a.k.a
open
-
ended question (generates all kind of data).

Funnel approach

A type of question sequencing that moves the respondent from
gen
eral to more specific questions and is designed to learn the
respondent's frame of reference while extracting full disclosure of
information on the topic (nominal, ordinal, interval or ratio data).

In
-
depth interview

A type of interview, usually
unstructured and in an unconstrained
environment, that encourages the respondent to talk extensively,
sharing as much information as possible.

Interview schedule

An alternative rarely used term for the questionnaire used in an
interview (phone or in
-
pers
on communication approaches to
collecting data).

Leading question

A measurement question that assumes and suggests to the
respondent the desired answer (nominal, ordinal, interval or ratio
data).

Multiple choice
question

A question that asks the
respondent to select from a pre
-
defined
one answer alternative (see multiple choice
-

single response
scale) or all appropriate answer alternatives (see multiple choice
-

multiple response scale).

Multiple question

A question that requests so much content

that it would be better if
separate questions were asked. See also double
-
barrelled
question.

Open
-
ended
question

A type of measurement question in which the respondent
provides the answer without the aid of an interviewer (either in
phone, personal inte
rview, or self
-
administered [self
-
administered
questionnaire] surveys); a.k.a unstructured or free response
question (nominal, ordinal, or ratio data).


Pilot test

A trail collection of data to detect weaknesses in design and
instrumentation and provide
proxy data for selection of a
probability sample; see also pre
-
testing.

Pre
-
testing

An established practice for discovering errors in questions,
question sequencing, instructions, skip directions, etc. See also
pilot test.

Projective
techniques

Various techniques (e.g. sentence completion tests, cartoon or
balloon tests, word association tests, etc.) used as part of an
interview to disguise the study objective and allow the respondent
to transfer or project attitudes and behaviour on sensitive su
bjects
to third parties; the data collected via these techniques are often
difficult to interpret (nominal, ordinal, or ratio data)


Ranking question

A measurement question that asks the respondent to compare
and order two or more objects or properties us
ing a numeric
scale. See also ranking scale.

Rating question

A measurement question that asks the respondent to position
each property or object on a companion verbal, numeric, or
graphic scale. See also rating scale.

Screen question

The question(s)
asked during a phone interview, to determine
whether the person answering the phone is a qualified sample
unit (nominal data). See also filter question.

Skip pattern

Instructions designed to route or sequence the respondent to
another question based on
the answer to a branched question.

Structured question

A type of measurement question that presents the respondent
with a fixed set of choices (nominal, ordinal or interval data). See
also structured response, closed question.

Structured
Response

A
response that is based on a fix pre
-
defined set of alternative
answer options. See also structured question.

Target question

A type of measurement question that addresses the investigative
questions (core information questions) of a specific study.

Unstructured
question

A type of measurement question in which the respondent
provides the answer to without the aid of an interviewer (either in
phone, personal interview or self
-
administered surveys); see also
open
-
ended question, unstructured response o
r free response
question.


Unstructured
response

A response strategy where participant’s opinions are limited only
by space, layout, instructions, or time; usually free
-
response or
‘fill
-
in’ response strategies. See also unstructured question.


14

Term

Definition

3
-
D graphics

A statistical presentation technique that adds interest to obscure
data and permits you to compare three or more variables from the
sample in one chart; types: column, ribbon, wire frame, and
surface line.

Area charts

A
statistical presentation technique used for time series and
frequency distributions over time; a.k.a. stratum or surface charts.

Bar charts

A statistical presentation technique that represents frequency
data as horizontal or vertical bars; vertical bars
are most often
used for time series and quantitative classifications (histograms,
stacked bar, and multiple variable charts are specialized bar
charts).

Executive summary
(final report)

This document is written as the last element of a research report
and

is either a concise summary of the major findings,
conclusions and recommendations or can be a report
-
in
-
miniature
covering all aspects in abbreviated form.

Extemporaneous
presentation

An oral presentation technique made from minimal notes or an
outline,

with a more conversational style.

Letter of transmittal

An element of the final report, this letter refers to the authorization
for the project and any specific instructions or limitations placed
on the study and states the purpose and scope of the study
; not
necessary for internal projects.

Line graphs

A statistical presentation technique used for time series and
frequency distributions over time.

Management report

A report written for the non
-
technically oriented manager or client.

Pace

A measure of
comprehensibility, the rate at which the printed
page presents information to the reader; it should be slower when
the material is complex, faster when the material is
straightforward.

Pictographs (geo
-
graphics)

A statistical presentation technique that u
ses pictorial symbols to
represent frequency data rather than a bar in a bar
-
type chart; the
symbol has an association with the subject of the statistical
presentation and one symbol represents a specific count of that
variable.

Pie charts

A statistical p
resentation technique that uses sections of a circle
(slices of a pie) to represent 100 % of a frequency distribution of
the subject being graphed; not appropriate for changes over time.

Readability indexes

Indexes that measure the difficulty level of written material; e.g.
Flesch Reading Ease Score, Flesch Kincaid Grade Level,
Gunning's Fog Index; most word
-
processing programs calculate
one or several of the indexes.

Sentence outline

One of two types of out
lines normally used in the pre
-
writing
phase of report development, uses complete sentences rather
than key words or phrases to draft each report section.

Technical report

A report written for an audience of researchers.

Topic outline

One of two types of

outlines normally used in the pre
-
writing
phase of report development, uses key words or phrases rather
than complete sentences to draft each report section.

Visual aids

Presentation tools used to facilitate understanding of content (e.g.
chalkboards,
whiteboards, handouts, flip charts, overhead
transparencies, slides, computer
-
drawn visuals, computer
animation).