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What Should I Do If I Am Having Difficulty With My Methodologist Committee Member?

February 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 194

First, be patient. No academic is obliged to serve on your dissertation committee or be your adviser or methodologist. That is why an online statistics help can help you sort through the many inevitable issues and hurdles you have to go through. Online statistics help and consulting can solve many issue you face with your methodologist, supervisor, or committee. Qualified statisticians and online research consultants have the right experience and have seen it all to help you overcome what seems mountain of problems with the committee.

Second, remember that academics tend to be healthy skeptics. What you might think is a fundamental disagreement in the research design phase could instead be a misunderstanding of what is intended as a suggestion that will improve your dissertation or an indication of a limitation of it as it stands. It's easy to take a remark that's meant as a constructive critique of a particular piece as applying more generally than it is intended. In that regard, observe how frequently published papers will acknowledge that the comments of anonymous referees improved the work.

Third, develop a solid grasp of what the methodological disputes or gaps in the literature are, which will also enhance your defense. Your literature review should help here along with discussions with the methodologist. Are there outstanding issues in the literature that you can address with a different dataset or a different type of analysis?

Different researchers have different opinions on the relative merits of different approaches. For example, surveys that are intended to "force a choice" between either agreement or disagreement with a statement in a Likert scale may instead lead to non-response by people who feel their opinion cannot be expressed on your survey. But non-response can then reduce your sample size and/or generate sample selection bias, which leads to differing opinions on whether forcing choice is a good idea. Sometimes the statistical issues boil down to the fact that there may be several different ways to estimate a population parameter or test a hypothesis, and an adviser has a preference for a particular method.

To illustrate the general idea with a fairly well-understood example, the independent samples t test has two versions, one which assumes the independent samples have the same variance and one which assumes unequal variances. In most circumstances, the version of the test that is appropriate would be indicated by the data, but some advisers might say you should not condition the statistical analysis too closely on a particular data set as a general idea, or that a large existing literature indicates that the variances should be taken to be equal in a particular example. In that case, a simple solution is to report results of both tests. But the same sorts of differences extend to other, more advanced estimation techniques and can be somewhat difficult for a busy adviser to explain briefly and in clear way that all students with different levels of statistics background will understand.

What statistical consulting or online statistical service can provide for services stems from experience with a variety of statistical problems, knowledge of different techniques that can be used to address different statistical issues and ability to interpret results of dissertation data analyses.To make efficient use of services, try to communicate clearly with your methodologist and also with the consulting service you work with.

Statistics Made Easy (SME) is a private limited company providing online and statistical consultancy service to both private and public sectors. SME also provides statistical consulting to graduate students, researchers, and academics who need help with data analysis of their thesis or dissertation results or interpretations. We also look to expand our team so if you are a statistical consultant with PhD in quantitative or qualitative data analysis and can provide online statistics service please get in touch.

Source: EzineArticles
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