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Issues in methodological research: perspectives from researchers and commissioners

Lilford, RJ; Richardson, A; Stevens, A; Fitzpatrick, R; Edwards, SJL; Rock, F; Hutton, J; (2001) Issues in methodological research: perspectives from researchers and commissioners. (National Institute for Health and Care Research 8 ). Health Technology Assessment: Basingstoke, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Methodological research has few well-defined tools and processes analogous to those available for reviews and data collection in substantive health technology assessment. (2) This project was set up to obtain researchers' and others' views on the innovative projects on research methodology under the NHS Health Technology Assessment Programme and the usefulness of the research. (3) The study was intended to span both epistemological and management issues. (4) The following issues were explored: (a) the degree to which researchers would feel constrained by the "Cochrane" approach to systematic reviews when undertaking reviews of a methodological nature; (b) whether methodological projects may require exceptional design and management arrangements, in view of their novelty, subjectivity and complexity; (c) whether researchers would seek out other methods, in addition to undertaking reviews of argument, as a means of extending their understanding of methodological issues (there may be three categories of research methods in methodology: reviews of methodological argument, studies that use the literature as a source of data, and research that collects new primary data); (d) whether the Methodology Programme overall can be considered a "success". METHODS: Telephone interviews were carried out on researchers (one senior and one junior per project), resulting in 35 interviews from 19 of the 20 target projects. (2) A qualitative postal survey was sent to 12 people who had played a key role in the development of the Methodology Programme; replies were received from six of them. (3) Analysis was undertaken of the hit rates for 29 projects on the NCCHTA website by the end of February and the end of May 1999, comparing those concerned with methodology (n = 10) and those concerned with other issues (n = 19). RESULTS: UNDERTAKING METHODOLOGICAL RESEARCH: VIEWS OF RESEARCHERS (PROJECT MANAGEMENT--TIMING AND TIME MANAGEMENT): (1) A majority of projects were completed within 3 months of their due date. Those studies completed roughly on time were considered to have efficient junior researchers and good project management, including clear deadlines for different stages of the research. (2) Some studies had severe problems of time management. Too much time tended to be spent on collecting and reading the literature and the writing stage was not always well planned. Referees' comments were also slow in coming.

Type: Report
Title: Issues in methodological research: perspectives from researchers and commissioners
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3310/hta5080
Language: English
Additional information: © 2001 The National Archives. UK government’s non-commercial licence for public sector information (https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/non-commercial-government-licence/version/2/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Science and Technology Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10039209
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