analyzing data

Analyze Your Data

Having your data in hand is a really exciting time in the research process. For many, it may also be one of the more intimidating parts of the process. What do I do with these data?

Data analysis is specific to your research project and, if you’ve followed the advice on this website, you’ve already thought through your data analytic plan, back with you wrote your IRB and devised your method. However, if you find that you need some help, here are some great resources to get you started.

  • CITI Program Essentials of Statistical Analysis (EOSA) is available for all CBU faculty, staff, and students. Simply log into your CITI Profile (information on CITI login steps available here) and select the Essentials of Statistical Analysis course to get started. This is a great place to learn new statistical techniques or to refresh/practice previously learned statistical tools. EOSA is provided to the CBU community by the Center for the Study of Human Behavior.
  • Laerd Statistics: SPSS tutorials, many available free online. Free, full-access licenses available to faculty.
  • Bryman & Cramer’s Quantitative Data Analysis for Social Scientists
  • Denzin & Lincoln’s (Eds.) Handbook of Qualitative Research

Disseminate Your Work

There are lots of different ways to communicate your research to a broader audience. Even something as simple as a blog post, or a publication aimed at a lay audience (such as Christianity Today) is good! These kinds of publications are different than academic publishing, which is the focus of this page.

Attend Conferences

One of the best places to learn about cutting edge research (before it’s even been published!) is at professional conferences. You can attend conferences whether you present research or not; they are a great way to network and get more involved in your field. However, before you go, there are a few things you should know. Check out this article for tips on attending professional conferences.

Poster presentations are a great way to share your emerging research to a varied audience (undergraduates, graduates and faculty). Consider the tips here and here as you develop your poster. Check out the specific formatting requirements for your conference in light of recommendations and examples linked here. With sufficient planning (about 3–4 weeks before your conference), you can also save a lot of money and an awkward poster tube during travel by printing your poster on fabric

Paper presentations, which may or may not be a part of a symposium (a panel of related papers), are generally short (10–20 minute) PowerPoint presentations describing your research to a group of interested scholars. Many of the principles described above for high-quality writing and poster presentations will still apply for presentations, so be sure you review them. You can also brush up on tips for giving killer presentationsspeaking in such a way that people will listen, or how to give a great research talk. And remember, this is a professional conference, but it is also fun! This is when you get to talk about the fruits of your labor and get important feedback in the question and answer period that follows.

Publish in Journals

Publication in academic, peer-reviewed journals is one of the best ways to get your research into the scientific mainstream and all the principles of high quality writing and presentation above apply. The big question here concerns what journal is a suitable outlet for publication. There are many journal options out there and the process of publication can take a long time, so you want to be careful to avoid wasting time by submitting to a journal that will not be interested in your topic or by failing to follow the writer guidelines, which vary by journal. This overview of the process includes a brief discussion on selecting the right journal for your work. Thinking about potential journals for dissemination should start early, even during the development of your research question! There are a lot of steps in the process, most of which happen behind the scenes, after you’ve submitted your manuscript.

It’s also important to ensure that the journal you are submitting to is reputable (rather than what is referred to as a predatory journal). Researchers are encouraged to use the think, check and submit tool to ensure the journal is trustworthy. Note that predatory journals are not synonymous with “open access” journals. Learn more about that on the open science page. The American Psychological Association has some excellent tips for authors-to-be on publishing in a scholarly journal, understanding the role of the editor in manuscript review, and the ins and outs of the peer review process.

Need additional help?

A variety of additional resources are also available to CBU students and faculty. If you’d like to schedule an appointment to talk about your research with someone in the Center, please contact us!

Contact the Center for the Study of Human Behavior

Director of Research: Dr. Erin Smith
Phone: (951) 343-4502

James Building, Rm 123A
8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504