6. Collect and manage data

Now that you have decided on your measures and how you will be recruiting participants, you need to determine how you will collect and manage your data.

Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved - Mattie Stepanek

Collecting data involves gathering the information obtained from your measures to help test your research question. As such, data collection methods are specific to your project and will be different from those used by other researchers. The types of measures used (e.g. questionnaires, online experiments, etc.) and who you will be recruiting as your participants (e.g. local students, international individuals, clinical groups, etc.) will determine your data collection methods. For instance, you may decide to administer an online survey via Qualtrics or conduct experiments online using Inquisit or OpenSesame.

The vLab includes the following measurement tools that will assist you with your data collection:

  • Qualtrics - a web-based survey creation and distribution platform
  • Inquisit - online and remote experiment generation and administration software
  • OpenSesame - a program used to create and run behavioural experiments

Using existing databases

Researchers often use existing databases and reanalyse the data or ask their own questions to generate new research outcomes.
Note: using existing data may be appropriate for population health topics, but please check with your supervisor first, as APAC guidelines for certain courses may require the collection of new data.

Database sources

Some researchers may have already collected their data. If this is the case, and there is no need to collect any additional information, you can review the Managing your data section below, and then move to the data analysis stage.