Peer Review Quick Guide
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Justification for Research

What makes a good research question is often in the eye of the beholder, but there are several general best-practices criteria that can be used to assess the justification for research.
  1. Is the question scientifically well-posed, i.e. is it stated in a hypothetical form that leads to a research design and analysis with scientific credibility?
  2. Does the research question require data that is accessible or attainable at a reasonable cost or effort?
  3. Is the research question posed in a way that can explain variability, different outcomes under different conditions?
  4. Are the units of analysis (observation) clearly identified?
  5. Is the question posed in a way that more than one result is possible, i.e. the working hypotheses can be refuted?
  6. Does the research extend our understanding of the phenomena being investigated; does it elaborate, extend, or fill in gaps in our present knowledge?
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Developed 2006 by the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center, Northern Illinois University.