RES701 Reflection


Hello and welcome to my last RES701 blog. For this blog i will be reflecting on the RES701 course.

Overall i have found the research methods course quite interesting, from the beginning, looking at hard question such as what is ontology and epistemology, how they related to research, to how to find credible evidence while researching and research ethics.

I think the overall content of the course has taught me a lot of useful skills relating to research. Such as finding credible information from sources like Google Scholar, how to look at and interpret research papers.

I can see with the research skills i have learnt during the course, it will help me out a lot when it comes to my project proposal for next semester.

Though i didn’t do a very good job at keeping up with the blogs, i do think overall journal i have written so far will server a good purpose to look back on and remind me of the things i have learnt and the topics we have covered.

Thanks to anyone who has read and found interest in any of my blogs! Sam.






For the last weeks class Clare covered the the topic of ethics in the area of ethical research. This was so the class could get an idea of the use of ethics when undertaking research and also to consider ethics in our research proposal.

During the class, she put us into groups to answer some questions relating to ethical decisions; some where easy but some where quite hard to answer. Overall i found the group discussion to be interesting because it meant everyone came at the questions with a different point of view.

So what are the main ethical guidelines should people follow when undertaking research?

  • Anyone that’s a participant in the research should not be harmed in any way.
  • Research should not be forced on any participant in any way without consent.
  • Participants should have full knowledge of what research is being undertaken.
  • The personal details and confidentiality of the participant must be upheld, unless permission from the participant is obtained.

Being interested in what unethical research had taken place in the past, i did some looking to find some. And found this video which shows researchers that clearly broke modern day ethics in disturbing ways..

Considering most ethical issue surround the study of people, I don’t think my proposed project has many  if any ethical considerations to consider, mainly because it has nothing to do with the research of people and is mainly focused in the area of IT. But in saying that i think it was an important and interesting topic to cover.

Researching an academic article (late)


For this blog i will be looking at an academic paper and describing what it’s about, how they undertook the research, and commenting on its abstract and summary.

The research paper can be found here.

Did the abstract tell you the three things I said it should? If not, what did it tell you?

Yes, the abstract told me all three things. First it they said what the paper is about (Threats in cloud computing), Briefly explained what the cloud is and said that they would identify possible threats and solutions.

What seems to be the research question(s) they were trying to answer ?

The main research questions the authors where trying to answer where, what are the main security issues surrounding cloud computing and what are the possible solutions to these issues.

What  method(s) did they use to answer the question(s)

The authors used and elevated multiple previously done studies that other researchers had conducted on the subject on cloud security. Using the information they gathered they then compared the papers to find the top security issues, gave explanations of these issues and offered solutions to them.

How credible do you think the paper is? 

I think the paper is very credible, because first the paper was published not only in a journal but also google scholar. Also each of the authors have high qualifications within the field of IT and the paper has been cited many times.

Did you agree, or not, with what they wrote in their conclusion? Why?

Yes i do agree with their summary, because they give a good explanation of their findings and explain the their needs to be more counter measures of security issues in the future.

Briefly describe two things that you learnt from the paper.

1. I learnt some of the main security issues that cloud computing has.

2. I also learnt some of the solutions to these security problems.

In no more than 250 of your own words describe what the paper is about

In this paper, researchers went out to find the main security issues that cloud computing currently has. They did this by looking at other academic papers that had looked cloud security issues in the past. Once they had looked and analysed the research, they then compared them to find the top security issues. Once they found the most common issues they then provided possible solutions to these issues.

Quantitative vs Qualitative

Hello and welcome to another RES blog! For this week’s blog Clare has given us the opportunity to blog about anything we choose. So I decided for this blog I thought I would talk about a couple research terms I’ve heard in class that I didn’t quite fully understand. These two terms were Qualitative and Qualitative. With this blog I hope to do some research into what they, explain what they are in my blog are and gain some knowledge on the way.:

So what is qualitative and quantitative and how do they relate to research?

Qualitative Research.


Well first I will start with qualitative. Qualitative research is used primarily for social research; such as gathering people’s opinions, reasons and motivations. This data is collected through methods such as interviews, focus groups, surveys and observations. Using the collected data researchers can then gain a deeper understanding of a given problem or trend.

Qualitative data example

Using a classroom full of students, researchers gathering qualitative data would be interested in such things as:

  • Why students chose that course to study.
  • Observations on how students act during that class.
  • What the students were wearing during that class.
  • Opinions from the students on a given question.

As you can see in these examples, the methods used to gather the qualitative data would be to use face to face interviews, observations or focus groups.

Quantitative research


Next I’ll move onto what quantitative is and how it relates to research. Unlike qualitative methods used to gather data, quantitative research focuses on gathering measurable numbers and statistical data, which then can analysed to created useful information such as trends and patterns.

Quantitative data example

Using the same example as before, researches gathering quantitative data would be interested in things such as:

  • How many male student’s vs female students that there are in the class.
  • What is the average age of the students in the class.
  • How many students pass or fail the class.

With this example you can see that the methods used to obtain the data could be achieved with the use of polls, surveys and interviews.


Looking at the examples I used you can see the clear differences of each qualitative and quantitative research and the methods of which each gather data.

Topic of Interest Summary

Hello and welcome to another research methods blog. In this blog I will be summarizing Wednesdays class, which was finding our area of interest in IT.

For this week’s class Clare had tasked us with choosing an area in IT that interests us and then answering some questions about that area. In completing this task we could then narrow down the subject and choice of potential projects for our assignment 3 and maybe our projects for next semester.

Overall I found this exercise useful because it made me think about what areas I enjoy and want to learn more about in IT and in doing so gave me some ideas of possible areas in IT I could base my project on.


What area in IT did I choose?

Well I’m currently working my way through NET702 which involves cloud computing, though I don’t know too much about the overall subject (I’m learning more everyday) I find this topic quite interesting and I have thought of some ideas I could possibly do for my project; so it made sense to choose it.


So what is cloud computing?

Seeing that I’m doing an infrastructure major the overall subject of cloud computing peaks my interest because it allows for the creation of networks within the cloud, this is done without having to handle any of the hardware you would traditionally have to deal with when working with a physical network; such as switches and servers.

Currently for NET702 we are working with Amazons AWS (Amazon web services), which at the moment is the largest cloud infrastructure provider. AWS allows for the creation of cloud based:

  • Networks – Fully functional networks based in the cloud.
  • Storage – Bucket storage that allows for handeling of files e.g. HTML, css and javascript used to create websites.
  • Databases – Scalable databases that allow for the storage of larges amounts of data.
  • Analysis of data – Cloud based data analytics.






Searching for credible evidence


Image by Chris Prillo

Hello and welcome back to my research methods blog. For this blog I will be completing the task Clare gave our class to complete; which is to find three sources of evidence for each of the topics of Digital Citizenship, Database Design and the Oculus Rift.

For each of these topics I will be giving general information such as where I got the evidence, who wrote it, when it was published and if I think it’s credible.

Topic 1 – Digital Citizenship

Post 1 URL:

Search terms used: Digital Citizenship Nz.

How I found it: Used a simple Google search.

Who wrote it: NetSafe.

When it was written: 16 September 2015.

What kind of ‘publication’ it is: General information regarding digital citizenship.

Do I think it is ‘credible’?  Yeah I do think this is credible, because Netsafe is a pretty well-known New Zealand non-profit organization. I Don’t think they would publish misleading information.

Post 2 URL:

Search terms used: Digital Citizenship.

How I found it: Google Scholar search.

Who wrote it: Ribble, Mike S.; Bailey, Gerald D.; Ross, Tweed W.

When it was written: 11 September 2004.

What kind of ‘publication’ it is: Journal.

Do I think it is ‘credible’? I think this will be credible because it is a journal article and has been cited over 70 times. Though it might be out of date because it is quite old.

Post 3 URL:

Search terms used: Digital Citizenship.

How I found it: Youtube search.

Who wrote it: CyberWise

When it was Posted: 26 June 2011

What kind of ‘publication’ it is: Youtube video.

Do I think it is ‘credible’? I don’t think it is credible because CyberWise just seems a random company making education videos, anything they say could be false or true.

Topic 2 – Database Design

Post 1 URL:

Search terms used: Database Design.

How I found it: Google search.

Who wrote it: Anyone?

When it was Posted: last modified on 11 March 2016.

What kind of ‘publication’ it is: Wikipedia article.

Do I think it is ‘credible’? I think this article is credible to certain level because Wikipedia is pretty well known and used, but because anyone can edit the article and add false information I don’t think it’s fully credible.

Post 2 URL:

Search terms used: Database Design journal.

How I found it: Google scholar search.

Who wrote it: D. Batra and S. R. Antony.

When it was Posted: July 1994.

What kind of ‘publication’ it is: Journal.

Do I think it is ‘credible’? Yes, I do think this is credible because it was found through Google scholar, it has been cited and it has been peer reviewed.

Post 3 URL:

Search terms used: Database Design.

How I found it: WordPress search.

Who wrote it: Evans Scott.

When it was Posted: 13 September 2015.

What kind of ‘publication’ it is: Blog.

Do I think it is ‘credible’? No, I don’t think this is a credible because a blog can be written by anyone and can contain false information.

Topic 3 – Oculus Rift

Post 1 URL:

Search terms used: Oculus Rift white paper.

How I found it: Google search.

Who wrote it: Gene Munster, Travis Jakel, Doug Clinton, Erinn Murphy.

When it was Posted: May 2015

What kind of ‘publication’ it is: White paper.

Do I think it is ‘credible’? Maybe it could be? But it could be bias.

Post 2 URL:

Search terms used: Oculus rift news.

How I found it: Google search

Who wrote it: Chris Osborne

When it was Posted: 7 April 2016

What kind of ‘publication’ it is: News article.

Do I think it is ‘credible’? No, I don’t think most news article are credible.

Post 3 URL:

Search terms used: Oculus rift journal.

How I found it: Google search.


When it was Posted: Mar 28 2016

What kind of ‘publication’ it is: Blog.

Do I think it is ‘credible’? No, I don’t think blogs are very credible source.


Discourse Analysis

Hello and welcome to another entry into my research methods blog. For this entry Clare has given each of the students in the class an assigned topic to research and answer questions on. The topic I was assigned to research is “Discourse Analysis” and here are my answers below.


What is it?


First to answers this question I will give a brief definition of what “discourse” by itself means; discourse can be defined as being a conversation, discussion, talk, speech or anything that is a written or spoken communication.

So coming back to the question, discourse analysis is used to analysis these written or spoken communications through the use of different approaches of discourse analysis.

What kinds of questions/problems might it be useful for?


Discourse analysis can be used for example by a linguist to answer such questions as; how does a person use paragraphs or strings of words as a whole to make up a written conversation.

Or another example could be how does one person use spoken language to communicate to another person over an entire conversation.

How could it be used in IT research (try to think of an example)?


I find it hard to think of an example for the use of discourse analysis in IT research; the only example I could think of, is to use it to examine how someone such as a leader or boss in the IT field uses words or writing to communicate to their employees.

What are the strengths of the approach?

  • Pulls apart and analyses entire written or spoken conversations to see how the words and paragraphs used make up the conversation.

What are the weaknesses of the approach?

  • I’m not too sure of the overall weakness of this approach. The one thing I can think of is that it’s based around quantitative research so it’s something that can’t be measured in overall scientific way.


Overall this i found this another hard concept to grasp much like epistemology and ontology, but in the end i think i gained some understanding on what the overall concept is and how it is applied.

Difficult Concepts

Hello and welcome to my second entry into my research methods blog. For this blog I will be answering the questions given out to us to by Clare to answer; these are two concepts that are difficult concepts to grasp: Ontology and Epistemology.

I have never heard of these words before nor do I know their meanings, so my answers to the questions will be based my interpretation of them through my research on what they are. With that, I shall answer the questions.


Question 1 – What is ontology? How is it relevant to research?

Answer: Through my research into looking up the meaning of ontology, this is what I gathered on what it is. Ontology is the philosophical study on what is reality or what exists. Researchers have used the concept of ontology to help understand difficult questions to construct theories around what is reality and what is the “truth” e.g. what really exists.

So how is ontology relevant to research? Well there many types of ontology and which one is used during your research will have different outcome in results or used for researching different things e.g. measured science vs social science. Though there a many types of ontology, there are two that are opposites to each other that I will focus on; these are Realism and Relativism.


Researchers with a realism ontology view believe truth exists and can be measure in a scientific way

leading to a static result.


Researchers using a relativism ontology believe the truth is subjective and contextual leaving to a dynamic result.

As you can see these two different types of ontology would be suited for different types of research, such as realism would be good for research where the subject studied could be measure in scientific way but not so good when subject studied dynamic and changing such as social sciences.


Question 2 – What is epistemology? How is it relevant to research?

Answer: So if ontology asks the questions of what reality and the truth is, epistemology is the method of how we gather that knowledge about the ontological questions and if that knowledge is correct and true.

Epistemology relevant to research because it is needed to determine how the research undertaken for the ontological questions will be done and if the knowledge obtained is correct.

 What is the connection between ontology and epistemology in a research context?

Answer: The connection between these two concepts are ontology is used to ask the hard questions such as what is reality and what exists and epistemology is the method of which we gather that knowledge and to determine if that knowledge is true.


Overall I found this these concepts hard to understand and I’m not positive that what I have written is totally correct but i gave it a go 🙂





Hello! and welcome to my RES701 (Research methods) blog for 2016. With this blog I will be maintaining a research journal throughout my progress of the RES701 course. For the first post to my blog I will be answering questions Clare has left for answer.


Question 1 – What do you think ‘research’ is?

Answer: I think research is something that can be used to search for an answer to a question or finding new information about a something you want to learn about. This could be for example gathering new information relating to your studies or researching something you are interested in.

Question 2 – Do you think you will ever need research skills?

Answer: Personally I think research skills are very important, especially being a student. Having good research skills helps me find the relevant, important information related to my studies. So yes, I do think I will need research skills.

Question 2 – What do you think a research journal is and who is it written for?

Answer: My understanding of what a research journal is; a journal written by academics for other academics in the same field of study. This journal would be used to show new findings etc. in that field of study.

Question 3 – What is plagiarism?

Answer: Plagiarism is essentially copying someone else’s work and calming it as your own.

Question 4 –  Why is it important to avoid it?

Answer: It’s important to avoid plagiarism because it’s ethically wrong and it will get you in trouble, especially if you plagiarize work within your studies.