Audience Dialogue

Tools for research

Tools for research are resources that help you do research more efficiently. Our favourite metaphor-tool is the hammer. It might be crude, and it might make a lot of noise, but with a hammer you can nail two components together (if they fit) and make something new. You can call it bricolage, you can call it made-to-measure, but we like the idea of hammers...

Hammers for numbers

How not to learn about statistics,

An overview of Statistical software used for research, and separate pages for different types of software:
Statistical software and survey analysis with Excel
Qualitative software for qualitative research
Software for content analysis
Visualization and graphics software

A hand-picked selection of the best books about media research.

How to analyse surveys with Excel
A lot of people seem to want to do this, even though Excel wasn't designed for survey analysis. It's possible, but there are pitfalls - as explained in these pages.

Coming soon: a page on the most efficient ways of producing graphs. In the meantime take a look at Chapter 6 of Know Your Audience.


Hammers for words

Writing global English
Some thoughts on writing global English, and ways of checking that your writing is as clear as possible.

Instead of two big glossaries, we now have 10 little ones, each on a particular subject area. We also have a single index to all the glossaries. You look up the index first, click on a term, and you'll be taken to the relevant glossary. if you want to look up (or browse through) other terms on the same general topic, that page will already be in your browser, so you won't have to wait for it to be downloaded.

Automatic web page translation
How to translate a web page into another language. Computer translation is far from perfect, but it has improved a lot in the last few years. If you know some English, but don't understand some of the words used on this site, a machine translation - though imperfect - may help you understand the pages more quickly. There are now several websites that do free translation of pages between common European languages. See our translation page for links on these, and a comparative test of them.

Hammers for software

A group of pages that we originally wrote to make life easier for ourselves when developing websites. Later we realized that other people might find them useful too. For example: 64 unobtrusive background colours for web pages and an introduction to content management systems.


Other kinds of tools

Eventually, we'll add a few more kinds of tools, such as tools for working with pictures. Unfortunately, we can't provide these right now. We're extremely, deeply, abjectly sorry about this, so we beg you to refer to our ultimate tool: the Multipurpose Apology.