Oral Presentation
Written Reports
Charts and Tables
Ethical Concerns
Data Storage


1) Identify the intended audience--this will shape how the research is reported
-research community
-organizational members
-citizens and community
-policy or decision makers
2) Analyze audience characteristics, concerns and needs
-are there written guidelines for research reporting
-are there past research products to use as models
-what are the time constraints
3) Use clear and accessible means of communication
-avoid jargon
-avoid technical information
-stick to a few key points
-make report widely available
-make report available in different formats


1) Plan for the presentation
2) Practice the presentation
3) Use supplementary materials, audio-visual aids, handouts, etc.
4) Present a few, important points
5) Make smooth transitions between points
6) Follow an orderly path from start to finish
7) Avoid repetition
8) Elaborate in the Question & Answer period


Writing is a basic job skill in the public sector. Research requires many different kinds of writing: research proposals; progress reports; final reports; research instruments; instructions; informed consent forms; cover letters; etc.

Written reports should have:
-a user-friendly layout
-use headings and subheadings
-organize it around central points
-include implications or policy recommendations
-leave technical details to the appendix
-use active verbs and short sentences
-eliminate unnecessary phrases
-use spell check and grammar check
-have it proofread by an objective third party
-double check all math and calculations
Elements of a Written Report
Executive Summary
Background and Purpose
Literature Review
Research Design
Variables and Measurement
Data Collection and Ethics
Data Analysis
Conclusions and Recommendations


1) include a descriptive title
2) label all variables and measurement units
3) show independent variable on the horizontal axis
4) show dependent variable on the vertical axis
5) indicate source of data in footnotes
6) show statistical tests under the table
7) always show the number of observations (N)
8) indicate if using percents


Researchers must conduct themselves ethically at all time. Two major areas of concern are:

1) Misconduct
a) making up data rather than gathering it
b) falsifying data that has been gathered, by altering it or selectively deleting it to obtain the desired results
c) plagiarizing--using someone else's ideas, words, or data without giving them credit
2) Handing Research Errors
No research is error free. The broad research community has adopted the practice of peer review to ensure that researchers practice ethical standards. Peer review means that both the methods and the results of one's research are reviewed by other researchers. In blind peer review, the reviewers do not know the identity of the author(s).

Peer review is used extensively by agencies that fund research, to decide which proposals have scientific and technical merit. Peer review is used by Institutional Review Board to decide if research is treating subjects ethically. And peer review is used by all the major research journals, to decide which written reports merit publication.

In peer review, there is full disclosure of research methodology and procedures. There should be clear and complete identification of the limitations of the study and their impact on the findings, conclusions, and recommendations.

Copies of the research report should be made available to those who request them. If the project is funded by public grants, the data may also have to be made available to other researchers.

Data should include instruments, code books, written instructions, field notes, informed consent forms, computer programs and files, printouts, diskettes, tapes, etc.


At the beginning of the research, there should be an understanding of who "owns" the data and products of the research, and who will take charge of the storage and preservation of the data.
Research data should be saved for:
-accessibility for research audits
-secondary data analysis
-re-analysis using new techniques
Procedures should be set up well in advance of the end of the project. Questions include:
-How long must the data be stored?
-Does it need to be locked up (confidential information)?
-What are the conditions for access to the data?
-What if there is turnover in agency personnel?