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.

HarvestR Validation

This project represents a rigorous scientific evaluation of HarvestR, and is expected to validate the technology in order to secure reseller licence with Leximancer and OEM licence to ThoughtWeb. HarvestR is software used to filter, prioritise and locate information from large text-based... Read more

Australian Community Capacity Study

Police responses to violent incidents, disorder and ethnically motivated disputes continue to challenge and drain police resources. In the post 9/11 era new types of public safety emergencies, coupled with a range of contemporary ethnic, religious, cultural and ideological issues, create new... Read more

Non-linear Dynamic Models

Non-linear dynamic models for attribution of Terrorist Attacks and Intervention Effectiveness. Attribution of terrorist attacks and understanding the effectiveness of targeted interventions is vital to assessing the effectiveness of counter-terrorism policy. Increased interest in evidence-based... Read more

Evaluation of "Coordinated Response to Young People at Risk" (CRYPAR)

The Coordinated Response to Young People at Risk Program (CRYPAR) was initiated by the Queensland Police Service (QPS) in 2006 in the North Brisbane and Pine Rivers Policing Districts, and later expanded to include Logan and Rockhampton. It recognised that mainstream policing approaches - with... Read more

Utilisation of Social Science Research

Academics lament that policy-makers ignore their research, while policy decision-makers argue that academic research is largely irrelevant to their needs. This project aims to reconcile these two positions by investigating social science research utilisation within public sector agencies.... Read more

Government Agencies use of Evidence

This proposal seeks to scope the essential underlying issues involved in the question: 'How do government agencies at different levels use evidence in making decisions and how effective is their decision making and use of evidence?’ The research literature concerning this complex multi... Read more

Dynamic social systems and adolescent alcohol and tobacco use: A new cusp catastrophe model

This project developed and evaluated the new analytic approach, Cusp Catastrophe Modelling (CCM), to test adolescent alcohol and tobacco use. Specific complex behavioural systems were also evaluated, where behaviours change markedly in response to subtle variations on key factors.

Assessing the Impact of Project STOP on Methamphetamine-Related Harm Indicators

Project STOP is a decision making tool for pharmacists aimed at preventing the diversion of pseudoephedrine-based medications for illicit production of methamphetamine.  Project STOP is an online real time system with 98% of all pharmacies in Queensland participating. It provides... Read more

Control Chart Methodology to Monitor Workload & Performance Measures

This research focuses on the further development and refinement of control chart methodology for monitoring organisational activity, resourcing and performance outcomes to inform management decisions within the AFP. This project extended current lists of performance measures to incorporate a... Read more

Needlz: Enhanced search in qualitative databases

This project designs technology to aggregate, consolidate and interpret search results within a qualitative database (e.g. document store) into a meaningful analytic environment to improve the finding process. 'Piloting' the Needlz technology in the Elsevier environment will provide... Read more

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