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Get to know research terms

Raines, Deborah A. PhD, EdS, RN, ANEF

doi: 10.1097/01.NME.0000442902.11780.b8
Department: On the Horizon

Deborah A. Raines is an Associate Professor at the University at Buffalo: SUNY in Buffalo, N.Y.

The author has disclosed that she has no financial relationships related to this article.

Words such as statistics, theory, and variables associated with the process of research often evoke fear, anxiety, and horror in many nurses. However, research is an integral component of nursing practice, especially with the current focus on evidence-based practice (EBP)—the use of the best research evidence to guide nursing practice and the achievement of the best patient outcomes. Clinical nurses drive EBP and the movement of new knowledge from the pages of nursing journals into nursing care activities. But nurses frequently cite a lack of knowledge about research terms and concepts as a barrier to actively engaging in the process of finding evidence and using it in their practice.

This crossword puzzle is designed to familiarize you with common research terms and concepts. A crossword puzzle is a fun and active learning opportunity that can be completed independently or in teams. Solving the clues requires you to use higher-level thinking skills, including analysis, synthesis, and application of both existing and new knowledge. Let's get started!

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1. Research concerned with tight controls over the research situation and the ability to generalize findings; includes experiments and large surveys.

6. This type of sampling is a sampling technique used when “natural” groupings are evident in a statistical population.

10. A critical synthesis of the existing research on a topic of interest; identifies what's known and the gaps in current knowledge. (acronym)

13. Individual facts, statistics, or items of information collected during a research study and used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation.

Figure. Fi

Figure. Fi

14. A supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something; a set of principles on which the practice of an activity is based.

15. The initiative in an action; in a study, the principal investigator usually takes this role.

19. The group of subjects in an experiment that doesn't receive the experimental treatment is the _____ group.

21. This type of statistic looks at the statistical reliability of a relationship between variables.

22. Asking for information or an official investigation.

24. The pursuit of knowledge or the purposeful acquisition of understanding of a subject.

25. This is an example of a _____ chart.



26. What you read to learn about the state of the science in an area of interest; sometimes referred to as scholarly or data-based.

28. Concise summaries of research studies; generally, they contain the purpose, sample, method, and major findings of the study.

32. A nonparametric statistical test that's used to compare sets of nominal level data is known as ___ square.

34. The assignment of numbers to objects according to specific rules to characterize quantities of some attribute.



38. In participant observation studies, the observer's record of daily events.

40. Research conducted in real-life settings may be referred to as ____ research.

41. A measure of central tendency or the middle value in a distribution of data.

42. Knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws, especially as obtained and tested through research.

44. Each variable is given a unique identifier or ______.

46. A way of looking at natural phenomena; a world view.

49. The consistency and dependability of a research instrument.

50. A purpose or intention of a research study.

51. The type of thinking involved in the understanding of research evidence.

52. This type of effect is the effect of an independent variable on a dependent variable, after controlling for the effects of one or more covariates through multiple regression or ANCOVA.

53. Format of a research project; identifies the approach, sampling technique, amount of control, when and how data are collected, and analysis strategies.

56. A theoretical distribution is referred to as a normal or bell-shaped _____.

57. Individual characteristics of the subjects; may include, gender, age, education, or income.

61. The act or process of knowing; perception.

63. A symbolic representation of concepts and the interrelationship among them.

64. In statistical testing, the probability of a Type II error or the standardized coefficient in a multiple regression equation.

65. The lowest cardinal number or the number of subjects in a case study.

66. A type of scale usually containing a series of responses, such as 1 = agree, 3 = neutral, 5 = disagree.

69. If the null hypothesis is “there is no difference between treatment A and treatment B,” then the statement “treatment A results in faster healing,” is this. (scientific notation)

70. This type of analysis is often used in EBP; it quantitatively integrates the results of multiple studies focused on the same research question.

71. To perceive or understand as fact or truth; apprehend clearly and with certainty.

72. This level is indicated by the p-value.

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1. The type of research that's concerned with the subjective meaning of an experience to an individual.

2. The type of hypothesis that predicts no relationship between variables.

3. The whole or the sum.

4. The ability of an instrument to measure the variable that it's intended to measure.

5. In the arithmetic operation (3+4+5+6)/4 = 4.5, 4.5 is the ______.

7. A type of sampling in which each element of the population has an equal chance of being selected.

8. A level of measurement with equal distance between scores and a true and meaningful zero point.



9. The world or the state of things as they actually exist.

11. The science that deals with the collection, classification, analysis, and interpretation of numerical facts or data by use of mathematical theories of probability. (abbreviation)

12. A method of selection in which each element has an equal and independent chance of being chosen. (abbreviation)

16. The process of organizing and synthesizing data to answer research questions and test hypotheses.

20. ____wise deletion is a method of dealing with missing values in a data set. (plural)

23. This type of experiment is an empirical study used to estimate the causal impact of an intervention on its target population; shares many similarities with the traditional experimental design or randomized controlled trial, but specifically lacks the element of randomization.

25. If the researcher's personal opinion or values influence the measurement of a variable or the outcome of the study, this has been introduced.

26. Probability is the _____ that an event will occur given all possible outcomes.

27. During the initial inspection of the data, the researcher uses this body part.

28. A demographic variable calculated by subtracting the subject's year of birth from the current year.

29. A cardinal number or nine plus one.

30. This gives an estimated range of values that's likely to include an unknown population parameter; the estimated range being calculated from a given set of sample data. (abbreviation)

33. A supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation. (scientific notation)

34. The measure of central tendency that's appropriate to use with nominal data.

35. When the subject isn't identified by name or other identifiers, even to the researcher.

36. A citation from a research study.

39. General systems, gestational sac, and even Gangnam Style are all consistent with this abbreviation.

41. 9, 2, 3, 7, 8, 1, 4, 5, 6; in this data set, it's 5.

43. In research analysis, there are two categories of this: Type I or a false positive and Type II or a false negative.

45. A randomized clinical ____ is considered the gold standard for generating evidence for practice.

46. Researchers write these for presentation and publication.

47. A type of reasoning that proceeds from the general to the specific; from theory to empirical data.

48. General appearance, group assignment, and general anesthesia all share this abbreviation.

53. Statistical tests in which both ends of the sampling distribution are used to determine the improbable values are referred to as ____ -tailed tests.

57. A study is investigating the difference among patients randomly assigned to four different types of wound care. What's the appropriate statistical procedure to test the differences among these groups?

58. Project director, data collector, and statistician are examples of the different ____ on a research team.



59. When data are displayed with a scatter plot, it's often useful to attempt to represent that data with the equation of a straight line for purposes of predicting values that may not be displayed on the plot. This straight line may be called a trend line or the line of _____ fit.

60. In a research paper, this provides a visual display of data.

61. Substantive matter.

62. An estimate of how many people would need to receive an intervention to prevent one undesirable outcome; computed by dividing 1 by the value of the absolute risk reduction. (abbreviation)

67. An organizational group that reviews proposed and ongoing research to address ethical considerations and protect the rights of subjects; a term used primarily in the United States.

68. The quality of being extremely thorough, exhaustive, or accurate in the design and execution of a study.

70. The National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus used for indexing articles in the PubMed database.

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