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Nursing and Midwifery

SAGE Research Methods Online

Sage Research Methods (SRM) is a fantastic collection of books, case studies and videos exploring and illustrating research methods for the social sciences.  

  • Books include Little Green Books and Little Blue Books, short guides to quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Over 1000 case studies illustrating research methods
  • Videos exploring all aspects of the research process
  • SRM Project Planner - accessible advice on every stage of the research process from defining a question to writing up and sharing your research
  • We don't subscribe to everything from SRM - use 'Refine By' when searching and browsing to see what is available at SHU

Understanding Research Methods

Research methods are the processes, techniques or strategies used to find, analyse and collate data or evidence to answer a research question or assignment.

Research methods allow you to find new evidence or information to better understand a particular topic or theme. 

There are lots of different research methods used in Health and Social Care research. The tabs in this box provide some guidance and explanation of the different research methods you may encounter in your reading, or be asked to use in your academic work.

To get you started, we have collated a reading list of some useful texts for researching in Nursing, Health & Social Care. 

These texts introduce you to:

  • research methods in Health and Social Care
  • conducting good quality research
  • ethics
  • effective research techniques 
  • interpreting your findings.  

In the 'Exploring Research Methods' tab are a couple of really good resources covering all aspects of research methods in Health and Social Care. There are also a couple of useful glossaries of terms used in Healthcare research that are a good introduction to some of the terminology you will hear and read about.

These books are a good starting point for introductions to research methods. It might be useful to read some of them before you begin!

Exploring Research Methods

The resources in this tab will help you investigate the research methods you encounter, either in your reading or your academic work. You can use them as you are reading your research findings, or look at some of the more overarching resources before you begin your research journey!


SAGE Research Methods: Medicine & Health collections cover primary clinical and epidemiological research, both interventional and observational, as well as systematic review and meta-analysis. Examples of studies are drawn from across all major medical specialties, as well as public health, nursing, dentistry, health policy, and services research. Really good for learning about the pros and cons of specific types of research!

Also included is the methods map, which allows you to read definitions of key terminology, and discover content relevant to your research project:


BMJ Best Practice: Learn Evidence Based Research 

These articles are intended to introduce the key methods of Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) such as clarifying a clinical question, designing a search and appraising, synthesising and assessing quality of the evidence.

Glossary of Research Terms

Sometimes we are faced with a lot of jargon when we are investigating research methods! These resources will help you understand the glossary of terms that are used with research methods and are all from authoritative Health and Social Care sources.


  • NICE - Glossary of Terms

    This is also a useful glossary of terms from NICE. The glossary gives brief definitions and explanations of the terms used and describes how NICE guidance is produced.


  • PubMed Publication Types. From PubMed: Publication Characteristics (Publication Types) with Scope Notes. Useful definitions of terms used with publications in PubMed, including MeSH.

Reading list on research methods in healthcare

You can find a section with more resources on research methods in healthcare on this reading list:

Research and Study Skills for Nursing, Allied Health Professions and Social Work - Research Methods

If you are studying Evidence and Enquiry for Practice or The Advancing Professional, you will also find lots of useful resources about research methods on your reading lists for these modules.

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