What is it?
This strategy centres its data collection on existing data sets or archive documents. This
allows for exploratory, explanatory or descriptive analysis of changes tracked over a long
period of time. However, the accuracy and breadth of information available may be an issue
for a researcher relying solely on this type of secondary data.
Presentation slides by Manchester University, UK
Layer 4 of the Onion
Layer 4 in the diagram is where you are asked to define how you wish to use quantitative
and qualitative methods in your research. This is the stage where you decide whether you
use one or both methods and if you will use them equally or with one more dominant than
the other. Quantitative and qualitative research methods do not have a layer of their own in
the research onion diagram, as they should be continually considered as you travel through
to the centre.
Quantitative research involves numbers. It is concerned with quantity and measurements.
Qualitative research is concerned with rich data such as personal accounts, opinions and
Methods are the ways in which you will actually design and collect data. Each choice at this
stage has a framework of methods and tools.
Please click on the terms for more information.