“What every researcher needs” – SAGE Research Methods!

Did you know that at the OU, we have access to the Sage Research Methods database?!

If you’re a researcher, now is definitely the time to be utilising the fantastic resources offered within this database. With no access to our on-campus research methods books during the current pandemic, the SAGE Research Methods site provides a wealth of material that can guide you through every step of your research process – from helping you decide a method to planning out your entire project.

The database offers guidance and support for each stage of the research process starting with: writing a research question, conducting your literature review, choosing the best methods to suit your project, analysis of data, writing up findings and the process to publication. Additionally the database offers:


  • Full versions of printed text
  • Handbooks with comprehensive coverage in a variety of subjects
  • Little Green Books – offering a detailed guide on specific quantitative research methods
  • Little Blue Books – offering a detailed guide on specific qualitative research methods
  • Major Work – volumes of curated journal and book content addressing particular methods of research

Research Tools

  • Methods Map – this tool will allow you visualise the relationship between difference research methods concepts
  • Reading Lists – users have created a list of recommended key research methods and statistics resources
  • Project Planner – a logical walk-through tool for the entire research process
  • Statistical Test (Which Stats Test) – enables you to evaluate and decide on an appropriate statistical method


Reference works provides dictionary definitions and encyclopaedia entries on research topics, including umbrella terms such as qualitative research methods, and specific lines of inquiry such as action research.

  • Encyclopaedia – detailed definitions of research methods concepts
  • Dictionary – quick definitions with less context

SAGE Research Methods Cases

This aspect of the database offers examples of how real research projects were conducted and is invaluable to those of you in the early stages of your research career as fellow researchers have taken the time to write case studies about their experiences. These case studies cover both the successes and challenges they encountered, how they overcame any issues that came up within their research and anything they might have altered with hindsight. Essentially offering you an insight into the realities of research that most journal articles and books leave out. Click this link to watch a YouTube video explaining how to use this resource.

SAGE Research Methods Datasets

This section of the website holds a collection of teaching datasets and instructional guides which enable you to learn the practice of data analysis remotely. By practicing analysis skills using real data from SAGE Research Methods Datasets, you have the chance to see how analytic decisions are made, which will contribute to your confidence when conducting your own analysis. Click the link to watch a short YouTube video explaining how you can best use this resource.


For more video tutorials click here and you’ll be redirected to the SAGE Research Methods Video Collections where you’ll find hours of tutorials, interviews, case studies, and mini documentaries covering the full research process.

Keep an eye out for future blog posts which will delve a little deeper into the four key elements of this database.

If you have any queries or need further advice, please contact library-research-support@open.ac.uk




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