Today ResearchGate informed Prof. Vanora Hundley and I that our paper in the Nursing Standard of 2002 had reached 90,000 reads. This short methods paper called ‘The Importance of Pilot Studies’  was one of our earlier attempts, nearly two decades ago, to publish more of our work in practitioners journals. This approach has been highly successful in terms of reaching a wider audience. We have written longer, more sophisticated research methods papers on pilot studies over the years, including in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, Social Research Update, and the SAGE encyclopedia on research methods [2-6], but none of these has been read or cited as often as our short paper in the Nursing Standard.
The term ‘pilot studies’ refers to mini versions of a full-scale study (also called ‘feasibility’ studies), as well as the specific pre-testing of a particular research instrument such as a questionnaire or interview schedule. Pilot studies are a crucial element of good study design. Conducting a pilot study does not guarantee success in the main study, but it does increase the likelihood of success. Pilot studies fulfill a range of important functions and can provide valuable insights for other researchers. There is a need for more discussion among researchers of both the process and outcomes of pilot studies.
- van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2002) ‘The importance of pilot studies’ Nursing Standard 16(40): 33-36. Web: nursing-standard.co.uk/archives/vol16-40/pdfs/vol16w40p3336.pdf
- van Teijlingen E, Rennie, AM., Hundley, V, Graham, W. (2001) The importance of conducting & reporting pilot studies: example of Scottish Births Survey, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 34: 289-95.
- van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2001) The importance of pilot studies, Social Research Update Issue 35, (Editor N. Gilbert), Guildford: University of Surrey. Web: http://www.soc.surrey.ac.uk/sru/SRU35.html
- Hundley, V., van Teijlingen E. (2002) The role of pilot studies in midwifery research RCM Midwives Journal 5(11): 372-74
- van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2005) Pilot studies in family planning & reproductive health care, Journal of Family Planning & Reproductive Health Care 31(3): 219-21.
- van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2003) Pilot study, In: Encyclopaedia of Social Science Research Methods, Vol. 2, Lewis-Beck, M., Bryman, A. & Liao, T. (eds.), Oregon, Sage: 823-24.
BU PGR Adedoyin Festus Fatai was one of three PhD students accepted to present at a 3-days intensive workshop on “Tourism: Economics and Management. Tourists as Consumers, Visitors and Travelers” in honour of Lionello F. Punzo which held at the Department of Economics, University of Siena, Siena, Italy (Italia), between 30 May – 1 June 2019.
It was an invaluable experience to serve as a discussant alongside other researchers in the field and to receive feedback on one of the empirical chapters from my PhD research. Additionally, there were comments from well-experienced journal editors with opportunities for collaboration.
An important lesson from the 15 papers discussed is that knowledge of research methods is not enough! instead, having a ‘story’ is more important. A good story will always sell as long as it identifies a clear gap to fill; is significant and has a strong motivation for it to be published in a journal with high impact factor.
Congratulations to PhD student Mrs Preeti Mahato who has a research methods paper published based on her PhD study in Nepal . In the areas of health promotion and health education, mixed-methods research approach has become widely used. In mixed-methods research, also referred to as multi-methods research, researchers combine quantitative and qualitative research designs in a single study. This paper introduces the mixed-methods approach for use in research in health education. To illustrate this pragmatic research approach the paper includes Preeti’s thesis as an example of mixed-methods research as applied in Nepal.
The paper, in the Journal of Health Promotion, is co-authored by Preeti’s PhD supervisors Dr. Catherine Angell and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen (both in the Centre for midwifery, Maternal &Perinatal Health) and BU Visiting Faculty Prof. Padam Simkhada.
- Mahato, P., Angell, C., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P.P. (2018) Using Mixed-methods Research in Health & Education in Nepal, Journal of Health Promotion Official Publication of Health Education Association of Nepal (HEAN), 6: 45-48.