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A repository of research resources for you

Ever wondered how to begin research, or how you yourself got started on your research journey? If so, you are not alone! Many early career researchers in the VET sector have been expressing the need for some means of readily accessing resources that would help them get started. This repository has been developed for you.

The terminology used in the research process can be confusing to early career researchers. There are many ways to conduct research, many different theoretical approaches to be considered and various combinations of research methods to use. Methodologies are constructed to fit the specific aims and objectives of individual projects and research proposals are the written blue-print to guide the process and to inform ethics applications. There are also various ethical considerations and requirements to be considered for each project, and the research design needs to address the appropriate quality criteria for the type of methodology used.

This repository presents a collection of informative materials in three distinct but complementary sections to assist you as an early career VET researcher to become more familiar with the various stages of the research process, to provide valuable insights into building your capacity as a researcher, and to offer other relevant sources of information.

The first section [The Research Process] provides resources on various stages in the research process and can be used as a framework for constructing a basic research proposal. The second section [Researcher Capability] offers constructive guidance on building your researcher capability. The third section [Links to Websites] suggests links to some relevant organisations, journals and conferences that you may find helpful.


Background to the development of this repository

AVETRA acted on this expressed need for a repository of research resources. Jointly funded by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) and AVETRA, the project began in the second half of 2011.

The task was to provide VET researchers with resources at the point when they needed them (i.e. ‘just-in-time’ and ‘when needed’ resources). The identified resource documents were to be put into PDF format, except for those that could act as templates for research use in Word format, and then uploaded by the AVETRA webmaster. The focus was to be primarily on documents and sites of relevance to VET, and ones that would furnish informative materials, guidelines and ideas to inform early career researchers about the development and management of VET research projects.
The building of the repository involved two main processes: interviewing and content analysis. First, assistance was sought from both new and experienced researchers. Interviews were conducted with 10 ‘early career’ VET researchers, who had participated in NCVER’s Community of Practice Program, to identify their needs and also resources that they themselves had found useful as beginning researchers. Also interviewed were AVETRA Executive members about resources that they knew about, had used and/or had written. In addition, three general calls for resources were made to all members via the AVETRA email list during August 2011. Second, websites were combed for already existing research resources which could be referenced, and for papers relevant to research methods that had been presented as conference papers or published as journal articles.

The resources were then clustered into the three sections outlined above. Each section contains either documents that can be downloaded or websites where resources can be found on those particular topics. Researchers are therefore able to ‘dip into’ whatever they feel they need at any point in time. It is hoped that this repository can continue being developed, with resources added and/or updated in the years ahead.