The article idea and data collection

The article idea and data collection

This article will allow you to understand:

1. How to summarise article ideas in a few words.


Activity 1: Research idea

Write a paragraph to summarise your research idea

Activity 2: Watch the following videos and answer the questions that follow;



Activity 3: Steps involved in research generation

What is the purpose of summarising?

Briefly explain the steps involved in summarising a research idea.


Activity 4: Reading Material

Read the material provided and use it in the following section.

Activity 5: Discussion on research ideas

Based on the knowledge you have gained from this section, review the research idea summaries of your group members.


Estimated Length (to be aligned to journal guidelines)

Your article summary idea should be one paragraph long.

Sampling and Data Collection

At the end of this section, you are expected to understand;

  • Sampling strategy
  • Target population
  • Study design
  • Respondent profile
  • Data collection methods

Introduction to the methodology for article writing

The methodology should be complete enough to enable someone else to repeat your work. The recommended length for methodology is 500 – 1,000 words. Components of the methodology section include study design, sampling, data collection, and data analysis. This section will focus on sampling strategy, target population, study design, respondent profile and data collection.

Sampling and Population

A sample is a subset of the population and sampling is the process of selecting participants for the study. Literature defines a population as a complete set of people with a defined set of characteristics. Therefore, from an epidemiological perspective, a population is defined by time, place and person.

Target vs Study Population

Example: In a survey of back pain and its possible causes, the target population would be all back pain sufferers. The study population could be specified by person, place and period. Therefore, the study population can be defined as all people aged 20 – 30 years from Gauteng in 2020 who were suffering from back pain. A sample is then obtained from the study population.

The probability of non-probability methods can be applied for sampling. In probability sampling, each member of the population has an equal chance of being selected and examples include random, stratified and systematic sampling. On the other hand, in non-probability sampling, the degree to which the sample differs from the study population is unknown. Examples of non-probability sampling include convenient, snowball and quota sampling.

A researcher is therefore expected to clearly define the sampling strategy that was used. Furthermore, sampling involves sample size determination. This implies the need to state the sample size and how it was determined. The sample has an impact on type I and II errors.

Respondent Profile

This is defined as the demographic characteristics of study participants. The respondent profile is part of the descriptive statistics that should appear in the first part of the results section. The respondent profile section can also be used to provide evidence that the sample size was sufficiently large and that the respondents were representative of the target population.

Data collection methods

The data collection method should be briefly described in the research article under the methods section. In addition, research article writing requires the researcher to briefly describe the validity and reliability of the data collection instrument. Validity is the extent to which a measuring tool provides adequate coverage of all the aspects of the topic under study and Reliability is the ability of an instrument to provide consistent results(11).

Questionnaire-based tools require the researcher to indicate the time frame for data collection, reminder strategies that were used if the questionnaires were not based on face to face interviews or online platforms.

Points to consider

It is recommended that you provide a brief motivation for the chosen method of data collection.

For example, medical doctors are heavily scheduled and may not have free time for face to face interviews; however, they can be comfortable completing online questionnaires during their free time.

The use of related literature to further justify the selected data collection instrument is highly recommended.

Activity 1: Sampling and data collection

Develop the sampling and data collection section of your article.

Watch the following videos:




Activity 2: Types of data and data collection methods

  • Define data collection.
  • What are the data collection methods?
  • What determines the data collection method for research?
  • What are the different types of data?

Reading Material

Read the material provided and use it in the following section.

Class Discussion

Provide your sampling and data collection section to your group members for review.

Estimated Length (to be aligned to journal guidelines)

Your data collection method to be less than two paragraphs.

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