Offline research methods
What are offline research methods?
Offline research methods are the ways that people gather information on a TOPIC without using computers, smart phones, tablets, or other internet-connected devices.
What are offline research methods like?
Offline research methods are like the ‘old school’ way of gathering information—before the introduction of computers. These methods require the researcher to put effort and time into gathering the information they seek.
Offline research means the researcher has to do all the work to locate the information. It may mean searching through libraries, bookstores and newsagents. It may mean talking to people who have the knowledge. It is very time-consuming and may require travel to locate the information. But it can be very exciting to then find just what you were looking for!
What is the purpose of offline research methods?
Offline research methods teach people to think for themselves in locating information. Offline research does not give you instant answers as online research might do. But it develops and strengthens the research skills needed to find information. This may be useful if access to the internet is not available. Researchers doing offline research also become familiar with library cataloguing systems and library search methods, which is a valuable skill.
What are the different types of offline research methods?
Offline research methods include the following:
- Going to a library to locate books, journal articles—even very old newspaper articles—on the topic being researched
- Subscribing to, and researching, magazines on the topic being researched
- Talking to an expert in the field on the topic you are investigating
- Watching televisions programs or videos, or listening to radio interviews, that provide pertinent information
- Conducting question and answer polls of people on the topic being researched to get people’s views
- Carrying out field studies (like taste tests) to obtain research data
What is the principle structure of offline research methods?
Let us show the principal structure of offline research methods by describing a specific example. You are to do an offline research of how alcohol affects teen drivers. You could:
- research magazine articles and newspaper articles in a library that are related to alcohol and teenage driving behaviour
- speak to an insurance agent to obtain statistics on how many accidents teen drivers have, and how many accidents teen drivers who have been drinking have
- visit a laboratory that has a device that simulates the effects of alcohol and see how well you can operate the simulation machine
- survey teens and try to determine the driving mistakes they might have made because they were under the influence of alcohol.
What terms are used when using offline research methods?
Offline research methods
Below are some of the terms you will often see when involved in offline research:
- An expert is someone who has done or studied something for a long enough time to know more about it than most people do.
- Footwork is a term used to describe the travel you must do in order to obtain information from several different places.
- Libraries are places where large numbers of books, and other reading material, are stored for public or private use.
- A microfiche is a rolled-up length of film on which printed information is stored in miniature format. It is impossible to read as the text is so small. A microfiche machine magnifies the film, enabling the stored pages (often very old newspapers) to be read and printed.
- Periodicals are newspapers or magazines that are published at regular intervals.
- Professional describes someone who makes their living from doing some particular activity.
- Validity means how much truth a statement or a statistic has.