“e-Source” online interactive resource on behavioral and social science research methods

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) has developed e-Source, an interactive, online course on research methods and tools for researchers engaging in behavioral and social sciences research on health-related topics.

The resource consists of 20 chapters divided into five categories. Although only the chapter “Conversation Analysis as an Approach to the Medical Encounter” by John Heritage, PhD, is directly related to applied linguistics, all 20 chapters should be useful for applied linguists interested in health-related research, as they provide a basic foundation for collaboration with other social scientists such as psychologists, economists, anthropologists, and sociologists as well as biological scientists.

All chapters are written by international experts and provide authoritative answers to methodological questions covering a wide range of social science areas, all in one free and openly accessible central resource. A discussion forum, note-taking capabilities, sharing features, interactive exercises, print-to-PDF function, and references linked directly to Pubmed provide an engaging learning experience.

According to the developers, the site will continue to evolve as new issues emerge, and they list among possible future topics “the impact of differences in language and lifestyles” and “the science of writing questions”, topics which should be of interest to applied linguists.


  1. Appropriate Research Methods (John B. McKinlay, PhD)
  2. The Concept of ‘Science’ in the Social Sciences (Jeffrey Coulter, PhD)
  3. Design Decisions in Research (Robin Whittemore, PhD and Gail Melkus, PhD)
  4. Theory Development and Construction (Stephen Turner, PhD)
  5. Social and Behavioral Theories in Public Health Interventions (Karen Glanz, PhD)
  6. Concepts in Sample Surveys (Sarah M. Nusser, PhD and Michael D. Larsen, PhD)
  7. Principles of Social Survey Data Collection (Stephen Woodland)
  8. Administrative Data Systems in Research on Health and Aging (Vincent Mor, PhD)
  9. A Reporting Checklist for Observational Studies (Richard Berk, PhD)
  10. Using Qualitative Methods to Study Health and Illness (David Silverman, PhD)
  11. Conversation Analysis as an Approach to the Medical Encounter (John Heritage, PhD)
  12. Integrating Software and Qualitative Analysis (Eben Weitzman, PhD)
  13. Clinical Trials (Duolao Wang, PhD and Ameet Bakhai, MD, MRCP)
  14. Cluster Unit Randomized Trials (Allan Donner, PhD)
  15. Ethical Challenges of Research (Miriam Kelty, PhD)
  16. Multilevel Modeling: A Conceptual and Methodological Overview (S. V. Subramanian, PhD)
  17. Objective Measurement of Subjective Phenomena (Keith Widaman, PhD)
  18. Measuring Socioeconomic Status (J. Michael Oakes, PhD)
  19. Evaluating the Quality of Health Care (Paul Cleary, PhD and Margaret E. O’Kane)
  20. From Quality of Life to Patient-Reported Outcomes (Donald L. Patrick, PhD and Gordon Guyatt, PhD)
This entry was posted in Research methods, Websites and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply