Innovations in data and methods

The Methodology cluster of research is focused on improving quantitative and qualitative research design, data collection and analysis. We develop and evaluate new approaches to research and train researchers and students to use best practice in research. The Institute has researchers with a full range of methodological skills, drawn from the disciplines of statistics, psychology, criminology, sociology, political science, anthropology, economics, archaeology, history, mathematics, science, architecture and geography. 

As well as ensuring best-practice methodology to improve the veracity of evidence within the research, the Institute is also focused on developing and refining methodological skills. This involves the use of multi-methods approaches, including cross-faculty and cross-institutional collaborations to approach different social issues in innovative ways without the narrow confines of a singular discipline.

Many research projects have a prime component to improve and develop the methodology. For example, Project ABILITY uses a randomized field trial methodology to examine third party policing interventions and their effectiveness to curb truancy amongst primary and secondary school students. In using this it is also contributing to further developing the methodology in a social science context, expanding on the traditional medical context.

The Institute is playing a leading role nationally in developing a dual frame research methodology to address the growing prevalence of mobile phone only households, and the impact this has on conducting telephone surveys.

Below is a list of research projects associated with this cluster.

Parental engagement: developing effective strategies for schools to engage the disengaged

This project will examine the prevalence of positive parental and community engagement with State schools in Queensland and develop models and strategies to improve school engagement. While previous research has shown that parental and community engagement with schools and student learning... Read more

Department of Social Services (DSS) Longitudinal Analysis Training

The aim of the course is to provide up to date knowledge to the Department of Social Services (DSS) on methods and techniques for undertaking longitudinal survey data analysis. This will furnish participants with an indepth understanding of how to analyse, interpret, and present longitudinal data... Read more

Housing Transitions and Fertility

Housing transitions - such as changes in housing tenure and residential mobility - are the outcomes of complex history of other life-course events such as union formation and dissolution, birth of children, and changes in employment. Research on the effect of family events on housing changes is... Read more

Respectful Relationships Program Evaluation

ISSR has been commissioned by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) to undertake a longitudinal outcome and process evaluation of multiple funding initiatives aimed at preventing sexual assault through education. This project involves an outcome... Read more

Enhancing social research in Australia using dual-frame telephone surveys

Using national surveys for social research is important for the measurement of social and health related outcomes. The social research industry typically conducts surveys by sampling from lists of landline telephone numbers. However, it is estimated that one in five people are currently resident in... Read more

Dynamic Situation Tracking of Big Data

This project is researching new methods to detect, measure and characterise “events” that arise in complex, textual “big data” flows. The research uses Situation Tracking technology developed by the project leader, Dr Andrew Smith.  It tracks “situations... Read more

The Impact of School Design and Infrastructure on Educational Outcomes

Within Australia and internationally, there is growing recognition that the physical design of educational facilities and institutions should accord with top pedagogical practices and the learning needs of students. Within Queensland, recent initiatives such as the State Schools of Tomorrow... Read more

Health and Hospitals Fund – Evaluation Framework

The Health and Hospitals Fund was established by the Australian Government to invest in major health infrastructure programs and make strategic investments in the health system that will underpin major improvements in efficiency, access or outcomes of health care.  The resultant evaluation... Read more

Department of Health and Aging eHealth and Adverse Drug Events Study

Design of a study to establish a baseline of adverse drug effects (ADEs) prior to introduction of future eHealth initiatives. Study design should support follow-up reviews and methods should be specified to isolate the impact of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) on ADEs.... Read more

Establishment of the Australian Data Archive

The Australian Data Archive will provide a world-class facility for researchers in the humanities and social sciences. The facility will be a web-enabled one-stop service allowing researchers to: browse a diverse range of data holdings and formats; conduct sophisticated statistical analysis on-... Read more