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Online methods catalogue for sustainability researchers

Interviewing farmers in Kolkata

The Sussex Sustainability Research Programme (SSRP) launches the Research Methods for Sustainability Catalogue at the virtual SSRP Symposium.

Dr Joshua Moon, Research Fellow in Sustainability Research Methods at SPRU, will present the catalogue during a session about new research findings and insights on Wednesday 16 September.

The highly practical catalogue is a freely available online resource that introduces possible methods available for conducting sustainability research. It encompasses quantitative and qualitative methods and tools in an accessible format with ‘how to’ guidelines.

Methods are currently organised based on how much fieldwork is required, whether it uses qualitative or quantitative data, and whether the method studies natural or social systems. There are currently nine methods catalogued which can be browsed either by category or A-Z.

The five key areas covered for each method are:

  1. What the method is
    A brief introduction about the method, what it measures, and the type of research that can be done with it.

  2. The advantages and disadvantages of using the method
    The types of analysis the method can, and cannot, do.

  3. How the method is used
    An outline of the main steps involved in conducting the method: how data is collected and how it is analysed.

  4. Examples of the method being used in sustainability research
    References to sustainability research that uses the method.

  5. References and resources
    Further references and resources to find out more about using the method.

Rather than being a complete explanation about each method, the catalogue is a starting point for researchers and research students to quickly become familiar with the method and access more resources if required.

SSRP has created the Research Methods for Sustainability Catalogue to provide a valuable resource for writing mixed-method, interdisciplinary research proposals towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Dr Catherine Will, Dr Cian O’Donovan, Professor Jörn Scharlemann, Professor Joseph Alcamo, Dr Joshua Moon, and Katy Petherick have all contributed to the catalogue as an outcome of the SSRP Methods for Sustainability workshop.

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By: Amy Sweet
Last updated: Monday, 14 September 2020

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