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ANT338-All notes up to Oct30 .docx

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Sherry Fukuzawa

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9/9/2013-Lec 1 Research Design and Lab Methods in Biological Anthropology Bio anthro is a brod field, including: -osteology -DNA (ancient and modern) -forensic anthropology -medical anthro -paleoanthro etc… Why do we conduct lab analyses?  to answer research questions What are the qualities of a good research question and where/how do they originate? Good research questions  address specific problems rather than general issues Must take into consideration biocultural framework, not just the medical aspect, the cultural aspect too. = report we give is a biocultural report, not just a medical one.  “what are the factors contributing to the high frequency of tuberculosis in the Grant Collection?”  are clearly stated where/how do research questions originate?  reading the literature  unanswered questions  gaps  conversations with colleagues  attending conferences  problems with current approaches Research Methods Used by Bio Anth  quantitative methods  counts & measures  volume, quantity, etc.  science  qualitative methods  descriptive, trends, patterns, comparative  soc sciences & humanities use this more  Bringing in social context Both follow scientific method using different approaches to data collection, When doing biocultural research, you use both methods. Qualitative research  meanings, concepts, definitions, characteristics, metaphors, symbols & descriptions  methods of data collection  participant-observation- problem w/ this is bias and focused on research question= focus on particular behaviour= missing important info.  interviewing, e.g. “What was it like to live in Hamilton in 1928?”-bias in result because of sample used  observation of experimental natural settings  photographic techniques  historical analysis  document & textual analysis  ethnographic research Theoretical Concerns  social constructions  ideas created & believed by society to organize & define its understanding of reality  members of society agree on the rightness of a particular view-frame of reference  “common sense” knowledge -things we see to be true because our society says it is  Cannot always be explained to outsiders-just the way it is  try to be objective – social constructions color our views  affect questions we ask & data used to answer questions Scientific Method 5 main steps 1. Formulate a question  helps identify and reduce bias & increase objectivity 2. Data collection  careful observations  participant observation  lab observation-can control variable (but even then bring in bias)  Survey (also bias, some people will answer more than others, bias in questions asked etc,)- always assess the sample for bias. 3. Data analysis & develop hypothesis  formal statements to describe & explain a group of observations 4. Test the Hypothesis  Formulate predictions and check for accuracy  Use an independent source to test the hypothesis  to increase objectivity observations used to generate hypothesis cannot be used to test prediction  independent corroboration 5. Conclusions  Must be prepared to reject the hypothesis  different people can draw different conclusions from same data  How do we ensure the quality of our research and evaluate others?  Critical Thinking Steps of Critical Analysis – critical thinking is a imperative skill for any research. Very important. 1. Overview  purpose of author, clearly stated 2. Clarify meaning  how are terms operationalized? Giving clear definition of all variables we're looking at. e.g how you define tuberculosis? (will be in proposal AND final research project)  are they valid definitions ** try to do this as you go so it's easier rather than waiting till the end. 3. Examine methodology  are biases addressed? *outline what you did in each of the labs b/c they give the methodology 4. Consider the results  Statistical analyses 5. Examine conclusions  do data support conclusions?  what are implications of findings? 6. Is argument consistent, reliable, probable? 9/18/2013-Lec 2 Sunday, September 8, 2013 6:00 PM Research Design & Working with Archives, Document: Reliability & Validity Working with Archives LAB DV205C? (6?) Types of Records  parish records  marriages, births, baptisms, deaths  census data  directories  municipal, regional, national  occupational  land titles, wills, tax forms  school records, hospitals & other social institutions  newspaper articles  cemetery records & tombstones  private – diaries, letters, etc. Records may be: historic - collected, catalogued, stored in archives Ex. Spitafields, England recent origin - housed in facilities & offices -still in use Ex. Grant collection Archives Private  personal use  diaries, letters, research notes, etc. (written by that individual but not for public consumption) Ex. How was tuberculosis viewed by population Public- Usually easier to access  intended for use outside of source  standardized  arranged systematically  alphabetical, chronological, internal reference number examples  commercial media accounts  mass consumption,  e.g. Stats Canada  official documentary records  specific context  e.g. court transcripts, school records Value of Documents/Records dependent upon -Can’t take at face value  quality  representativeness  completeness of information NEVER take documents at face value  carefully evaluate  corroborate Must have certain key info, can't use bias based on research question (selective sampling) Data gathering techniques Data triangulation  Connecting different sources of information  Use different records & documents to verify the information of your primary source-multiple data techniques e.g. age at death-if can find birth/death certificate to verify the info you got  parish burial records, birth records, death certificates, tombstones (death certificate to triangulate)  confirm findings, new information, additional perspectives  Validating your data through outside sources **our project Individual 900 will be the one we triangulate as a class. Before examining documents/records  determine appropriate sources of data  thousands of sources  peripheral sources can confirm data (triangulation)  NEVER use tangential source when it is likely there is a more central source  NOT just any source, the BEST source  identify the archive/collection where material is stored  obtain permission  ethical concerns  Document must be relevant to your sample. Does it have the right information? Permission & Ethics  permission not usually difficult if valid research project  ethical obligations  treat documents & contents with respect  may not be possible to photocopy or photograph  be prepared to take notes  omit identifiers unless integral to analysis & permission obtained  people’s names & addresses What & where are these archives?  experience  archival holdings  online  library  other places to consider  administrative bodies for institutions  church  hospitals  government  likely sources  consider how archives come into being Sedimentation - erosion of material (loss of information) Always keep this in mind. Some sedimentation can introduce some bias Primary sedimentation  Person loses material  Different work spaces, donations, destruction Secondary sedimentation  Person dies- death cert. gets lost by family members  Different interests, motives, materials in different archives Tertiary sedimentation  Materials reach archives  Curators dispose, have preferences, sort differently Searching for materials  Remember sedimentation  Get permission  Ethical obligations  Treat documents with respect Evaluating Quality of Documents Marwick (1994) 7 steps- must consider when analyzing data Use this to decide if the documents will be used- invalid documents 1. Authenticity - Ist concern  Do the materials date from the appropriate period? Does the date correspond w/ the time period of the grant collection (1930s)?  Are they consistent? In their form, the way filed out, the info on them  Is it original 2. Provenance  Where is the source from?  What are it’s biases? Some things filled out and others not  Is it suitable for the type of information you need? Is it pertinent to our research area (here tuberculosis, and the research question) 3. Date of Source  When was it produced?  Was it produced during the time of the events recorded?  Does it follow conventions? Have the conventions changed? 4. Type of Source  What was its purpose?  What conventions does it follow?  Is there unverified information? (variability b/w the documents that could be important?) (V besode age on grant collection = verified by secondary source) 5. Origin of Source  How it came into being?  What group/person created it?  What is the level of accuracy?  Any attitudes or prejudices involved? 6. Relevance of Source st  1 hand account? Or are they looking at the remains themselves  Can the source be fully understood, technical terms can't understand, slang? Can you be clear about technical terms?  Is it reliable?  Technical terms, slang, outdated termssa 7. Context of your research  How should the source be understood & analyzed in light of other sources? Can you understand the document in light of other sources and w/I the context of our research 8. Test reliability & validity In quantitative research: Reliability:  Replication, reproducible, represents a specific pop (are the individuals in a sequence?) if missing who/s missing? Certain types?  Results consistent over time  method reproducible  Accurate representation of total population  Free of bias In qualitative research: Reliability (when doing research on tuberculosis at the time etc)  Confirmable, consist  Legitimate ways of collecting data  Reproduce method  Apply methods to other populations  Neutrality, objective  Reduce social constructivism  triangulation Validity IN quantitative research  Accuracy- are there any measurements, how are they performed?  Does the method actually address the question?  Does it measure what it intends to measure?  Are the results truthful? Validity In qualitative research  Credibility, applicability (credibility of the source, is it relevant, can you trust the source)  Are we measuring what we set out to measure?  Produce legitimate results Collingridge & Gantt (2008)  Criterion validity-  Construct validity-can you operationalize  Content validity- idea of assessing bias Reliability in documents  Standard forms? Are they standardized and complete (we don’t need this to assess our research question)  Are forms complete?  Does handwriting change or format coincide with gaps in documents or missing data? (is the missing data part of the variable of our research question ex. Sex)  How does this affect the reliability of the information? (of that document) Validity in Documents & Methods-for our research  Are the variables of our research question on the documents?  How was COD established?  Documents are older than 50 yrs  (variability b/w the documents that could be important?) (V besode age on grant collection = verified by secondary source)  Confirm meanings of various medical terms  Consider the accuracy with which certain diseases could be diagnosed long ago  Age & Sex – how were they established? 9. Sources of Bias  Are there any biases in the documents? Ex. Is it mostly female? Then problem, want variability in age.  Composed by whom? -bias?  For what purpose?  Are they complete?  Are they consistent? Objective? Sampling bias?  Is the sample representative of a larger population?  random sampling? (make sure don't selectively sample) LAB 1 -Evaluating primary sources for the Grant Collection-from the 1930s-40s, unclaimed bodies (see article) 9/25/2013-Week 3 2:49 PM, September 24, 2013 ANT338 A Literature Review: What is it and how do I create an effective one? ***Final paper must have minimum of 8 references (peer-reviewed)*** What is a literature review? It is written component of a research paper that reviews the research that has been published and conducted in the field of study surrounding your hypothesis or research question  Summarizes the current research (not of each individual source/article) and assimilate it related to the research question  Critical evaluation-always relate the lit. back to research Q. What is the purpose of a literature review? Demonstrates: Looking for gaps in the research  the need & placement of your topic in relation to previous research  That you are knowledgeable about your topic  What has been assessed and explained about your topic  What remains to be investigated  How your research question addresses the gaps in the research area How does a literature review fit into a research project? It shows how your topic fits into the larger research field It is reciprocal:  Sometimes a lit review will formulate a research question  A lit review establishes the validity of a research project REMEMBER: your research question drives your literature review – there should always be a clear connection! What are the sources for a literature review? Primary sources  original studies, firsthand information (any raw data ex. Newspaper from time, government docs etc. original research articles)  Statistical data, experimental results  Empirical studies (methods, results, stats) Secondary sources  Second hand information (review articles summarizing studies, not generating original data)  Discussions, comments, interpretations of original material  Review articles Where do I find my references for the literature review? Journal articles  Good for up to date information  Must be refereed (peer-reviewed) Books (secondary source)  Tend to be less up to date (not as good as journal articles)  Good starting point- use to become familiar w/ area of research but don't use as primary source Conference proceedings  Good for latest research but may not have been published (sometimes easier to find online than libraries) Government or corporate reports  May carry out research & publish findings  Gov. sensus can be very good. Newspapers  Not specialized  Limited use – recent trends, social perceptions (can be used for social context ex. How tuberculosis patients were treated, fear of it at time etc) can be primary sources if from that time Theses or dissertations  Can be useful  May not be published Internet  Pay close attention to the sources  Electronic journals CDROMS  Bibliographies Magazines  intended for general audiences, non-specialized source #1 mistake in a literature review-it's a critical review of the literature, not a summary  To summarize each source individually!  Only give a summary of the previous research is a BIG mistake!  It is not a critical assessment of the literature!  It does not show how previous research relates to our hypothesis and research question  It does not establish the relationship between different studies in the literature  DO NOT organize a literature review by author!! – don't summarize each of references. Want to know what main problems in area, how does it relate, etc. YOU MUST  Assimilate the information, don't summarize it  Combine studies, contrast existing research How do I write a good literature review?  Synthesize and evaluate the information  read with critical thinking skills-w. research Q in mind. Take notes. What method they using, sample size is what,  Take note of theme, categories  How do other writers classify their data? Categories for analysis & Comparison  Topic  Methods  Argument  Results found & conclusions  Theoretical approach they are taking (good to look at 2 research articles ook at same thing through 2 different ways)  Key words Analyze individual works  What is the argument? Is it convincing?  Is it well developed? Is it well defended?  What is the theoretical approach?  Are the biases acknowledged & addressed?  Are the conclusions relevant to my research question? Compare Works  What are the main arguments? Are they similar or difference? Are some more convincing than others?  How has the research been conducted?  What kinds of data are presented?  Do they adequately answer their questions? How does it relate to my research question? 2. Identify the main ideas of the literature  Identify some main ideas and trends that pervade the topic or your research question-classify them  Use these main ideas to classify the information & sources that you have read  These ideas may be used to form main topic areas of discussion in the literature review 3. Identify the main argument of the literature review  The main idea of the literature review should be closely related to your research question  It presents a body of literature that motivates your research question! 4. Organize the main points of the literature review  Organize the main ideas of your literature review so that it supports the main argument  It must be well organized to present relevant aspects of your topic in a coherent manner  This will allow readers to understand the context and significance of your research questions & Project As you organize your ideas for writing, keep track of the supporting ideas, examples, and sources that you will be using for each point 5. Write the literature review  Give structure to your literature review  Intro, body, conclusion  Keep it focused on a main idea or argument  Make sure that you keep your research question in mind  Tips for a good literature review  You may use headings in your literature review if there are many different variables that you want to incorporate into your research question  Subheadings can highlight the main points  Remember to explain the relevance of the literature that you cite in relation to your research question Tips: May use headings in lit review if many variables to integrate Subheadings can highlight the main points Verbal tense strategy Present tense always when explaining a phenomena-when relating authors to concept, theories etc.  Used for relating what other authors say and for discussing the literature, theoretical concepts, methods etc… E.g. Jones (2012) explains that the evidence for cancer in rats is…..  Use present tense when you present your observations on the literature E.g. Jones (2012) fails to explain adequately the relationship between rats and humans….. Past tense  Used for recruiting events, results found etc.. E.G. Jones (2012) conducted an experiment on laboratory rats over a ten year period. He determined that ….. USE APA STYLE! 10/2/2013- Week 4 Tuesday, October 1, 2013 9:12 PM Creating a Database What is the purpose of a database?  Store & organize data  Allow researchers to access pieces of information in different ways to address different research questions  Examples of databases  e.g., university student records database  name, student #, etc.  process your registration  print class lists  Think about which data goes into which fields  Other examples  Hospitals-fields patient records condition treatment personal information  Museums-fields  artifact where obtained when what is known of item What makes a good database? Easy to maintain-variables very obvious Easy to access  Contains information for different queries  Different researchers have different needs-should all write the same way Databases should be flexible  new information & categories of information added easily, as needed e.g. Grant Collection  data & research management  different researchers have different needs  males 20-35 yrs  females dying of cancer, etc.  cases meeting requirements easily selected  several requirements simultaneously e.g., complete, right humeri of males & females 20-75 yrs  info available at start age, sex, cause of death, etc.  over the years bones studied # bones present measurements  etc. e.g. A Visual Method of Determining the Sex of Skeletal Remains Using the Distal Humerus Rogers, TL Common Mistakes in Database design  Large databases  Unwieldy – too many variables in 1 table (gets complicated)-only 1 variable per field ex. Address and postal code in 2 fields  reformat data  separate tables  linked databases  e.g St. Thomas’ Anglican Church Cemetery, Belleville-Can link smaller databases together  577 individuals recovered  historical, archaeological, osteological, research projects  historic records  skeletal evidence  diverse research interests  age & sex techniques  pathology  bone biomechanics  bone density  Canada & U.S.  database grown exponentially  parish records  census data  results of skeletal analyses  linked databases 2. Putting more than 1 piece of information in a field  Data should be broken down to their most simple elements  E.g. last name in 1 field, First name in 2 field 3. Using a range instead of a finite number  Ranges are not flexible- ex. 20-25yo not good, put exact age (can do once look at specific question but not in field-do a query for it instead  E.g. enter exact age then you can change reports if the categories change 4. Entering data inconsistently  If you don’t have accuracy of the exact headings and categories in your database then there will be inconsistences  Different individuals entering data must be consistent  You may not generate results 5. Entering the wrong type of data in a field-Make decision before make sure all fields are okay before putting data in  If you are missing data then you need to reconsider your database design-can't enter race if I only have 1 or 2=not consistent. Not too many yes/no fields (can do for TB cause of death cause so many names for it on forms)  You will lose information if randomly enter data into empty fields 6. Too many yes or no fields  May lose important information  Remember that not applicable is not the same as NO! 1. Determine the type of information to record 2. Determine how the information will be used 3. Identify the information that should be kept in separate items What are the steps for creating a good database? Step 1: Determine the purpose of your database  How will it be used  Reports  Examine the forms you used to record your data  Important variables in the document  Create a list of questions that you want your database to answer Creating a database  begins with critical thinking  what type of information?  how will it be used?  identify info that should be kept as separate items (fields)  e.g. street address separate from city  tell program how subjects relate to one another  program can bring proper types of info together when you need it Determine Purpose of Grant Database  data from Grant Collection  sort & organize  look for patterns in data  Think about the research question  To assess the relationship between  Documented sex  Age  Address  Cause of death-TB vs. other causes of death  Address the hypothesis:  Living in urbanized areas increases the risk of cancer Step 2: Determine the fields needed in your database  What type of information do you need to record  Enter ONE fact for each field  what to name each field?  Lower case only, caps only, or combined?  Why?  Primary Key – unique identifier  e.g. catalogue #, case #, serial #  Be CONSISTENT! Step 3: Field properties  Set the type of data that will be entered in a field  Data type = number  Integer, decimal etc.. Step 4: determine the number of tables needed  In the grant collection we can have a single database  Can add tables if necessary Entering Data  Lab 1 – data evaluation  you may have eliminated some forms Marwick’s 7 steps  for lab 3 include/enter only the data you evaluated as “acceptable”  Lab will be held in Library Computer Lab 10/2/2013- Week 5 9:15 PM, October 1, 2013 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) What is GIS? •Geographic Information Systems- can ask question about relationship between objects through space •A spatially referenced database •mapping system is linked with database –database can include: photos; characteristics of places, e.g. addresses; objects found there; etc. •hardware, software, personnel (we use ARC) –organize, store, visualize, analyze & present spatial data -Data input & verification -Data storage -Database management -Data output and display -Data conversion -Data control The spatial data employed describe objects in terms of: •A position in some coordinate system •Non-spatial attributes •The spatial relations between objects -Loot at different variables like trees, man-made paths, latitude, longitude Why GIS? •Thematic maps show data superimposed on a landscape. -layering of different maps •Visualization of such data thru GIS facilitates pattern recognition •“custom mapping” Why GIS? •Data dissemination to a public forum •E.g. Paleontology GIS & Google Earth (can cut and paste on google earth and can email) "Draping"- layering the maps •create custom maps –variations easy to make •look for & analyze geographic patterns –spatial trends and correlations •measure distances •2D and 3D representations •print or project it •link images to map •link database to map 1. Spatial data can beused to structure a database and tointegrate seemingly incompatible data simply through where they are placed on the Earth’s surface 2. Itallows data to be visualized using maps and more advanced techniques such as animation & virtual landscapes 3. GIS enables forms of spatial analysis where the coordinate locations of the features under study are an explicit part of the analysis 3 levels of application of GIS: 1. VISU
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