How to Identify High-Quality Research

January 16, 2019

Research reports are a dime a dozen, even on an emerging focus area like online education. The Report Reader Checklist, a new tool from the Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit, aims to help readers separate the rigorous from the shoddy.

The checklist includes six categories: context, methodology, sample, reporting results, transparency and reader experience. For each, the online guides lays out qualities of thorough, transparent research studies.

"There are no 'points' or 'weighting' within the checklist, but if readers find one area (e.g., 'Context' or 'Methodology') that is missing several criteria within a report, that would indicate that a report is weaker in that particular area," according to the checklist FAQ page.

Readers can also print a downloadable version of the checklist.


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