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Research for International Students

The ways research is conceived, approved, conducted, and reported in the U.S. may differ from how it is done in other countries. This guide describes those processes and some of the context for them.

How will you get the information you need to answer your question?

  • Will you simply integrate what you have found with your own personal thoughts on the topic?
  • Will you analyze someone else's data?
  • Will you design your own experiment?

Borrow from Existing Research

Borrow Methods

During your research, you may have found existing studies that you can use as models. You can take the method from one study and apply it to a new population. Or, you can take parts of several studies' methods and create a new method. You may use these methods or find a whole new way to answer your question.

Borrow Data

During your research, you may have found a dataset related to your topic. You may be able to analyze that dataset to answer your question. Since information is valuable, you will need permission to use that dataset. Check for data availability statements or terms of use. Sometimes nothing will say that you can use the data. You will need to contact the people who collected the data to request permission to use it.

Plan to Get Consent

The U.S. values choice and participant rights. You will need to also plan how you will get consent if you will be doing research with or about humans. You will need to explain what your project is and how it might affect people who participate. People can then decide if they want to participate or not.

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