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Dahlgren Memorial Library

ISP: Independent Scholarly Project Resources & Services

Feeling lost as you start your ISP? Take a look at Dahlgren resources and services that will make your research process easier and more efficient!

Ideal Research for the ISP?

The type of research study you conduct for your ISP will be driven by your topic, mentor, and time/resource availability. Here are a few types of projects recommended by ISP staff and previous students. Keep in mind – since you're working with a mentor, you may be able to participate in more in-depth levels of research if you aren't designing the study alone.

Research Design: Overview

Generally, analytic research can be divided into categories of Observational and Experimental studies:

Observational Research: Observational studies do not allow for investigator allocation, sometimes due to ethical considerations. In these studies, the factors are self-selected, and so the empirical evidence is weaker due to possible confounding biases.

Experimental Research: In these studies, the investigator has control over allocation, and so randomization can be employed. For this reason, experimental studies tend to provide strong empirical evidence.

In addition, various filtered or secondary studies exist. They review and evaluate applicable studies, and sometimes perform additional statistical analysis on the cumulative data.

Research Design Web Resources

When your research team begins planning a potential study, consider using these web resources to help determine the appropriate study design and find out what similar studies are already in progress.

Research Design: Reference Shelf