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Sonia Livingstone|    Leslie Haddon|

Media and Communications, LSE
Houghton St, London WC2A 2AE UK


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About the Best Practice Research Guide

EU Kids Online

This Best Practice Research Guide has been compiled by drawing on the multi-disciplinary and multi-method expertise of the sixty plus researchers who comprise the EU Kids Online network (see Annex B). Its purpose is to distil the knowledge, experience and insights of those actively researching children's use of online technologies for the benefit of those entering this domain.

It is intended to be useful to new researchers, to experienced researchers new to this domain, to those commissioning or evaluating research on children and online technologies, and to students and interested others.

The Best Practice Research Guide is presented in the format of Frequently Asked Questions, since this how new researchers most commonly express their need for knowledge and guidance.

After brainstorming the range of questions most commonly asked, those selected were organised according to the five main sequential steps of the research process, integrating qualitative and quantitative research considerations at each step. These five steps are:

  • Designing the research
  • Sampling and recruitment of participants
  • Data collection
  • Analysis of data
  • Reporting the findings.

It is important to note that this Best Practice Research Guide does not purport to offer definitive or absolute 'right' answers, for in this domain as in others, research practice is variable and often contested. Differences in research culture, academic discipline and practical experience all combine to generate real disagreements about the optimal conduct of research.

But this does not mean no guidance can be given. We put forward this guide in the collaborative spirit of passing on to others our understanding of the literature, best research insights and hard-won experiences and, at times, lessons learned from painful mistakes.

Each answer to a Frequently Asked Question is structured into several sections, including:

  • What's the issue?
  • Common practice
  • Questions to consider
  • Pitfalls to avoid
  • Further resources
  • Researcher's experience (or instance of good or bad practice)

The Frequently Asked Questions are also available online at| together with further resources and research materials (survey questionnaires, interview schedules, etc.) that exemplify useful qualitative and quantitative research practices. Most but not all resources are in English, the aim being to aid researchers across Europe.

EU Kids Online's Methodological Issues Review|, freely available from the website, contains up to date critical discussion of key methodological issues and a substantial bibliography and can be an useful supplement and further reading to this guide.






Child 9