Research tools and resources
Below are a number of tools, resources and websites that PGRs may find useful for organising and analysing different aspects of research and locating further information.
Data analysis tools
NVivo is a piece of software for qualitative data analysis available on University computers. SPSS and Minitab are software for quantitative statistical data analysis and are also available on University computers. Training courses are available through the Researcher Development Programme (RDP), bookable through SkillsForge.
The Connected Researchers website has an extensive list of tools for exploring literature (such as Google Scholar), finding and sharing data and code, connecting with others, lab and project management, grant-writing, publishing and many more.
Reference management tools
Software such as Endnote, RefWorks, Mendeley, BibTeX, Papers, or Zotero can help gather all your references in one place, attach notes and full-text documents to them and manage your reading.
Bibliographic software can automatically insert citations into documents and create a bibliography at the end of the document. At least one reference management tool is a must for researchers! The Library offers training and advice on using bibliographic software and also provides an APA Referencing Guide.
These are tools that allow users to create reminders and/or to-do lists to help get on top of their tasks. Examples are Microsoft To-Do, Wunderlist, Google Calendar+Keep+Inbox, Todoist, and Any.do. Many of these apps sync with all devices, have free of charge versions and include different types of functionality.
Research data management
This process involves planning, organising, storing, using, archiving and backing-up research data. Having a robust plan from the start can help prevent data loss and ensure ethical, legal and funding guidelines are met. Visit the University Library on level 4 of the Schwann Building or email firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance.
Research methods training
The University’s Researcher Development Programme (RDP) offers many training courses on campus and with partner institutions. For further information see the RDP section or login to SkillsForge to book.
The National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) provides online resources, training courses and events for a variety of research methods.
The Computer Assisted Qualitative Data AnalysiS (CAQDAS) networking project was formally established in 1994 and provides information, advice, training and support for anyone undertaking qualitative or mixed methods analysis using CAQDAS packages. These University of Huddersfield CAQDAS webpages provide further information.
Find information and resources that a general internet search will not! Teachthought has a guide to 100 search engines for academic research broken down into search types and subject areas. Explore over 200 databases with the Library’s A-Z of databases. More resources can be found by searching the British Library catalogue, The National Archives and COPAC.
WorldCat can be particularly useful for finding overseas material, or for checking bibliographic details of different editions.
The university subscribes to Bristol Online Surveys (BOS), which is free for University users. Contact IT Support to request a BOS form and submit the completed form to IT for access. The support of your supervisor may be required.
BOS is a very flexible tool used extensively by both qualitative and quantitative researchers and can export to Excel, SPSS and other formats. No complicated set-up or technical knowledge is required. If you encounter problems gaining permission for an account, contact the Researcher Environment Team by emailing email@example.com.
If you plan on using survey tools such as Google forms or SurveyMonkey, consider whether the nature of your data (i.e. includes data from human participants, personal, sensitive or confidential data) is suitable in the design phase of your research. Other survey tools may be used by some researchers, but please be sure to check with your supervisor before using them to make sure they are compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation, which applies from 25 May 2018.
If you have found any research tools you think are helpful that are not already listed, contact the Researcher Environment Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.