Research Analysis: Studying Studies
The article by Cook, Cook, and Tankersley reviews the assertion that quality indicators need to be present in order for research to be deemed high quality. The irony of this article is that it is a study of what it means to have studied something well, thoroughly and objectively and not subjectively, and the idea of what this means is also very subjective.
The basic conclusion of the authors of this study of other studies is that other studies need to have the authors’ (of this study) subjective qualifiers in these other studies, and that, without them, these other studies should be discounted. The authors explain that many studies are not conducted at a high enough level of competency in regard to the amount and precision of the qualifiers the studies have.
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In this research, the authors view two studies which they believe should have the qualifiers indentified by a few other researchers. For some reason, the authors don’t seem to be bothered much about the fact that their own complaints about other people’s research being overly subjective is, in fact, subjective itself. In order for research qualifiers to have some overarching definition, there would need to be at least a grand scale vote about which qualifiers are necessary in research.
The authors of this study take a vague look at several studies conducted by several people and refute the studies based on the opinions of several other people. In order for studies to have general meaning for a large population, then the qualifiers of this study as well as others need to be deemed as important by a large quantity of people, and not just a handful, and this needs to be adequately highlighted within the article.
Cook, B., Cook, L., & Tankersley, M. (2008). A Preliminary Examination to Identify the Presence of Quality Indicators in Single-subject Research. Education & Treatment of Children 31(4), 523-549.