CEC Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches and Lectures


Data sources for scholarly research: Towards a guide for novice researchers

Event Location / Date(s)

Montreal, Quebec, Canada / June 22-27, 2012

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Presentation Date


Conference Name / Publication Title

Proceeding of the Informing Science + Information Technology Education Conference 2012

First Page


Last Page



One of the biggest challenges the novice researcher faces is determining just where and how to start her or his research. During the research design stage, a novice researcher must take into consideration three key factors: a) literature; b) research-worthy problem; and c) data. While the role of the problem and literature in research has been explored previously, inadequate attention has been given to the centrality of data and access to collecting data in the context of research design. This paper explores data as a vital element of scholarly enquiry by outlining the role of data in research in the informing sciences, identifying some issues with access to data collection, and their impact on the design of a proposed research. This paper explores the categories of data, organized in a 2x2 taxonomy: the Qualitative-Quantitative-Indirect-Direct (Q2 ID) Taxonomy of Data Sources. This paper concludes with examples from literature for some research studies and explanations for the types of data used in the context of the proposed Q2 ID Taxonomy of Data Sources are provided.