Our Methods Desk offers free methodological and statistical advice to Bachelor's and Master's students in Communication Science. The desk is open Monday through Friday from 13.00 until 15.00 at REC C7.00 (next to the Education Desk)
The Methods Desk offers free methodological and statistical advice to students.
The Methods Desk offers advice and can help you on your way. We do not conduct research or perform analysis, and no rights can be derived from the information that we provide. It is also important to note that methodological and statistical problems often have multiple feasible solutions. There is therefore a possibility that our advice does not coincide with the advice of your thesis supervisor. In such case, we recommend that you visit the Methods Desk with your supervisor to discuss the various options.
The Methods Desk is intended for UvA Communication Science students only.
Are you struggling with a problem related to your Master’s thesis or research practical training that you do not know how to solve? Then you can turn to us for assistance. Prior to visiting the Methods Desk be sure to structure your research on paper, taking into account the theoretical model, research questions and sub-questions, hypotheses, operationalisations, different variables (e.g. discrete and continuous) and analysis techniques. Keep it short and simple, but make sure you get the information across clearly so that our assistants can help you quickly and effectively.
Doing research can be complicated. It is not uncommon that things are overlooked or double checked, especially in the design phase when it is easier to explore alternatives or make changes. ‘Is my design good enough?’ or ‘Do I have enough respondents?’ are typical questions that we can talk through at the Methods Desk. Again, make sure you are well prepared before visiting us and bring an overview with all relevant research information with you.
You may find the answer to your question yourself by browsing the list of websites, literature references and other useful information on methodology and statistics.
If you have a question about a methodological subject (e.g. confounds) or statistical analysis (e.g. ANCOVA), the sources below can be used to get your question answered.
Dr. Stat is an online programme to get the basics of Statistics. You can learn and practice only very basic issues, but the website is appreciated by some students. SSO costs 7.50 Euro.
The website of Andy Field (author of the popular book discovering Statistics Using SPSS). It is a peculiar site, but is packed with a lot of information.
Research Methods Knowledge Base
A lot of information, not only about analysis, but also about designs, measurement scales and sampling.
Statnotes: Topics in Multivariate Analysis
Mainly focused on the use of SPSS analyzes and interpretation of results.
StatSoft: Electronic Statistics Textbook
Mainly focused on the basis of statistical analyzes.
The sources below provide a wealth of information on programming and statistics software, such as SPSS.
UCLA Statistical Computing
A collection of information and tutorials for a great number of statistical packages, including SPSS, R, Mplus, MLwiN, SAS, STATA, en LaTeX.
Quick-R is an ideal website to learn R when you’re used to SPSS. For many SPSS analyses SPSS the R syntax will be given.
A forum is a website which allows users to interact with each other online by providing a platform for discussions or questions and answers. Forums are useful for two reasons. First of all, there is a good chance of your question being answered on the spot by an active user with relevant knowledge. And secondly, forums are open to all. This means that you can use the search function to see if your question has already been posted.
Below you will find some useful links to books and articles on topics related to statistics and methodology. Most books are available at the university library for perusal or borrowing.
The Method’s Desk will be providing online consultations to all Communication Science students. To complement this service we have created a resource package that answers the most common questions students email us. Before contacting the methods desk for assistance, please check that your question cannot be answered by the resource package, which is quite extensive.
If you cannot find the answer to your question through this website including the resource packages, please do not hesitate to ask the Methods Desk’s student assistants for help.
Before contacting us, we kindly ask you to fill out the online form (in this case we respond via email) or come to the Methods Desk to fill out the form and contact us in person. Due to the pandemic, there is also a possibility to make a Zoom appointment, however, please note you cannot request a Zoom call, we use our own discretion to decide which requests require a zoom call.
When using the online form please be sure to include your question and relevant background information, such as:
Please try to include as much relevant information as possible so that our student assistants can point you in the right direction. Be as detailed as possible, but keep it to the point. If you find it too difficult to write down all this information, please visit the Methods Desk in person so that we can find an answer to your question together.
The online consultations, just like the physical ones, are limited to a maximum of 4 email/Zoom consultations per semester. This is to ensure that students use the desk prudently and that we are able to assist all students during the peak period, which is now.
This website contains a lot of useful information that can help you with your questions. There is also an online form that you can submit. But the easiest way to get a quick answer to your question is simply to head to the Methods Desk. You can find us on the seventh floor of REC C.
The Methods Desk is located next to the Education Desk of the Communication Science department, on the seventh floor of REC C.
The desk is open Monday through Friday from 13.00 until 15.00.