Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Sage e-Reference and Methodology Encyclopedias

Online Now! Statistics and Measurements! Methodology Encyclopedias!

It's 2 a.m. You're reading an interesting paper on sentence processing: Reading sentences with a late closure ambiguity: Does semantic information help? Lipka, Sigrid; Language and Cognitive Processes, Vol 17(3), Jun 2002. pp. 271-298. And you get to a paragraph in the methodology section that states they set up a 2X2 Latin Square.

"What?" you think. "A Latin Square? I don't remember that. They started dancing in the middle of their analysis? It does help break the tension..." Well, I usually don't do that myself. But luckily, I remembered that the library has a trial subscription (soon a regular subscription) to several online encyclopedias from Sage Publications. So I searched for the term "Latin Square" and found an article explaining what a Latin Square is and why they are used.

As the Psych, Soc, Ling, and CSD Librarian, I am especially happy about this, because it includes something I've dreamt about for several years: 3 methods related encyclopedias -- 1 in Statistics & Measurements, 1 in Research Methods in the Social Sciences and 1 in Psychological Assessments.

Yep. In the middle of the night, you can have questions answered! Plus the interface is excellent. The Home Page for each encyclopedia has a list of broad topics that branch off to more specific articles. Or you can look through all of the articles in an alphabetical list. Or you can search for terms in a basic search or a more specific search. Or look through the index.

Each signed article has links to other, related articles. Each article also includes several articles and books for further reading. This is wonderful for another use of the encyclopedia. Doing your own research.

Say you decide to develop a questionaire. You read the several articles in the Methods Encyclopedia on Questionaires/Survey Design, (even an article on Internet Surveys) but are hungry for more! Here are suggestions for further reading from one of the articles:

Blumer, H. Sociological analysis and the “variable.” American Sociological Review vol. 21 pp. 683–690 (1956).

de Vaus, D. (Ed.). (2002). Social surveys (4 vols.). London: Sage.

Groves, R. M. (1989). Survey errors and survey costs. New York: Wiley.

Marsh, C. (1982). The survey method: The contribution of surveys to sociological explanation. London: Allen & Unwin.

Rosenberg, M. (1968). The logic of survey analysis. New York: Basic Books.

Not bad!

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