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Library- Research Navigator: Destination 5: Doing Research

Your preliminary source of information and guidance as you begin or continue with your research journey.

Doing Research

The essence of any research project is the physical collection of data. This will support to answer the initial research questions and bridging the research gap. In Destination 1(Pre-proposal stage) you took an inventory of past research efforts that laid the foundation moving forward. In Destination 3 (Proposal Writing), we clearly defined our research strategy with a step-by-step plan of action offering direction and ensuring appropriate timing. Now we can confidently implement our plan of action by having a clear understanding of where our research has been, and where we strive to go.

Data Analysis

Data Analysis is the process of systematically applying statistical and/or logical techniques to describe and illustrate, condense and recap, and evaluate data. 

Considerations/issues in data analysis
There are a number of issues that researchers should be cognizant of with respect to data analysis. These include:

  • Concurrently selecting data collection methods and appropriate analysis
  • Drawing unbiased inference
  • Providing honest and accurate analysis
  • Training of staff conducting analysis
  • Reliability and Validity

Statistical help

You can use a range of statistical packages for editing, analyzing and presenting numerical data collected during your research. UJ gives you access to these statistical packages through the student portal (Blackboard). License keys and installation guides are also available from Blackboard. 

Please note that  UJ  Statistical Consultation Service (SCS) provides a professional, goal-orientated statistical consultation service to postgraduate students and researchers at UJ with regards to research design and methodology, experimental and questionnaire design, and statistical analysis of data. For assistance please contact

Citing and Creating Reference Lists or Bibliographies

‚Äč Bibliographic management tools (also known as citation or reference management tools) help you organize your research sources and generate bibliographies in multiple citation formats. The University of Johannesburg Libraries subscribe to a tool known as RefWorks which can be accessed on and off-campus. We also offer support for a free bibliographic management tool knows as Mendeley.

Tutorials on how to use RefWorks are available at this YouTube channel. More information is also available at the ProQuest LibGuide.  Please note that we offer individual training and group training sessions for both RefWorks and MendeleyContact librarian for a consultation. 

Choosing a Citation Style

For most of your research work, you will need to format your bibliography according to the citation style specified by your Faculty, department or publisher. The citation styles used at UJ include Harvard (See the quick interactive reference help guide here)  and APA (American Psychological Association).


Play the Plagiarism Game


Research methods

Research methods are the systematic tools used to conduct research. Basically, they are the rules researchers follow to collect information in order to seek an answer to their research question.

Types of research methods:

Research can be classified in many different ways on the basis of the methodology of research, the knowledge it creates, the user group, the research problem it investigates, etc. The broader categories of research methods are qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research.


                                           Mixed Methods Research

Research Resources

The Faculty and the Information Librarians based in the Library can provide tremendous support while doing your research. They will help you make the most of the resources and point you in the direction of useful Library tools. Click here for information on the research resources available to you.

Useful Library Research Database

SAGE Research Methods Online is an online collection of information (handbooks, articles, videos) that support beginning and advanced researchers looking for the best methods to use in their research.

This collection covers a range of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods for the social and behavioral sciences, as well as many methods commonly used in the sciences. You can also find information on other parts of doing research such as writing a research question, gathering and analyzing data, preparing a literature review and publishing findings.

Books on Data Analysis

    Qualitative Data Analysis with ATLAS. ti             Book Jacket          

Use the Text Matching Tool for your Writing

Turnitin is an electronic text matching system that compares text in a student assignment against a database of sources …and provides an originality report in which ‘matched’ text is underlined, color-coded and linked to either the original source or a similar document on its database…also offers an indication of the proportion of the submitted work that matches other sources” (Curtin 2014). The guide below will assist you in accessing Turnitin from  the student portal (Blackboard)

Useful books

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Doing Research That Matters : Shaping the Future of Management Cover Image

Supporting Research Writing : Roles and Challenges in Multilingual Settings Cover Image

New Scholarship in Critical Quantitative Research, Part 1: Studying Institutions and People in Context Cover Image

Qualitative Research in the Health Professions Cover Image

Doing Research in and on the Digital : Research Methods Across Fields of Inquiry Cover Image

Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct is any action or attempted action that may result in creating an unfair academic advantage for oneself or an unfair academic advantage or disadvantage for any other member or members of the academic community. This includes a wide variety of behaviors such as cheating, plagiarism, altering academic documents or transcripts, gaining access to materials before they are intended to be available, and helping a friend to gain an unfair academic advantage