Research Onion Layers

Research Onion Layers
Rapport Issue


Publication Date

December 28th 2012


Mark Saunders
Paul Tosey

Most researchers design a piece of research to answer a question or address a problem. They begin by working out what data are needed and then focus how they will obtain these data. Obtaining these data can involve one or a number of data collection techniques such as questionnaires, interviews, and observation as well as making use of secondary data. However, selection of technique or techniques used to obtain data, along with procedures to analyse these data, represents only the final decision about the overall research design. Within this article we use the metaphor of the ‘Research Onion’ (*1; p. 128) to illustrate how these final elements (the core of the research onion) need to be considered in relation to...


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