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Methods Desk

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.

  • What does the Methods Desk do? 

    The Methods Desk offers free methodological and statistical advice to students.

    What does the Methods Desk not do? 

    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. 

  • What type of questions or problems can the Methods Desk help you with?

    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. 

    Second opinion

    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.

    Feeling utterly lost?

    Are you unable to see the wood for the trees? Don’t hesitate to visit the Methods Desk if you are stuck. We can help you structure a step-by-step plan that will help you move forward with confidence.

  • Find it out yourself

    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.

    Information about 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 
    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. 

    Statistics Hell
    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. 

    Information about software and programming

    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
    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.

    Forums

    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.

    Books and articles

    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.

    • Boeije, H., `t Hart, H., & Hox, J. (red.) (2009). Onderzoeksmethoden (8ste druk). Amsterdam: Boom 
    • Van Groningen, B. & De Boer, C. (2012). Beschrijvende statistiek: Het berekenen en interpreteren van tabellen en statistieken (3de druk). Amsterdam: Boom
    • Bryman, A (2008), Social Research Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press
    • Agresti, A. & Finally, B (2009), Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall
    • Huizingh, E. (2007) Applied Statistics with SPSS. London: Sage
    • Salkind, N.J. (2011) Statistics for People Who (Think They) Hate Statistics. London: Sage
  • Contact, location and opening hours

    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.

    Online form

    You can contact us using the online form and we will either respond via email or make a Zoom appointment with you. 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: 

    • What is your research about? 
    • What is your research question?
    • How many respondents do you have?
    • In which part/phase of your research are you now?
    • What are the independent variables?
    • What are the levels of measurement? 

    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.

    Please note: maximum of 4 consultations

    The online consultations, just like the physical ones, are limited to a maximum of 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.  

    Location

    The Methods Desk is located next to the Education Desk of the Communication Science department, on the seventh floor of REC C. Due to the coronavirus the Methods Desk is not open physically. You can reach them by filling in the contact form above. 

    Opening times

    Due the coronavirus the Methods Desk isn't open physically.