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Welcome to the Research Methods Toolkit

Curious about doing research? Involved in collecting information or data to understand society and mental health? Find yourself sharing that information with others?

If so, then this is the place for you!

Welcome to yourvery own online Research Methods Toolkit. Across this website you will find high-quality, engaging resources that discuss research design and ethics; qualitative, quantitative and participatory methods; data analysis; knowledge dissemination and much more. These resources come in a wide range of formats:

  • how-to manuals and guides
  • podcasts, videos and info-graphics
  • academic articles and books

Each page explores a particular approach or method by focusing on what it is, how to use it, and what it looks like in practice. The Toolkit is designed to be accessible to all, featuring introductory and more advanced material on every page.

The creation of the Research Methods Toolkit has been guided by a commitment to co-production. We follow the key principles outlined by the National Service User Network of collaboration, redefining our understanding of legitimate knowledge and placing those with lived experiences at the centre of our research. We understand co-production to be more than a method. It is an ethos that runs through the entire research process – from identifying a topic, to study design, to data collection and analysis, and finally to knowledge dissemination.

We hope you enjoy the Toolkit!

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Diagram of Co-Production Principles in the research cycle: Identifying your research topic: What do I want to know more about? Formulate research questions: What are the key questions that can help me generate knowledge about the research topic? Review what is known: What has been written by others on my research topic in journal articles, books, reports and online resources? Design research study: How do I ensure that all research components build on one another to create coherent insight into my research topic? Address research ethics: How can I ensure that my research questions, design and methods are ethical? Select methodology: What research methods will help me generate relevant data to answer my research question? Conduct Research: What do I need to do to collect insightful data? Analyse data: What are my research findings and what do they tell me about my research topic? Disseminate research findings: How can I share my findings effectively with different stakeholder groups?

How to use this website

How is the Research Methods Toolkit put together? It follows the idea of the ‘research cycle’, with its organising principle being that research takes place in several stages.

As you can see in the diagram, the research cycle does not simply run from ‘start’ to ‘finish’. Rather, it allows your results to spark new topics and projects, and restart the cycle. You can join the research cycle at any stage according to your own needs and ambitions.

One great aspect about this flexible approach to research is that if you are part of a wider community of people interested in a topic, you can easily share tasks and responsibilities fairly among community members. No particular researcher needs to lead the process the whole way through, and you can involve new community members as a new stage begins.

Research Methods for Society and Mental Health

Select from our topics below to get started

Getting Started


Qualitative Methods

Quantitative Methods

More Approaches