Author Archives: Marilyn Simon

Take your passion and make it happen


When conducting scholarly research, it is important to understand the role passion plays. Passion can help us stay motivated and focused, but it can also blind us to the truth. If we pick a topic to convince the world of the one true answer to a question we pose, we are probably asking the wrong question and writing a position paper rather than conducting scholarly research. To help you harness the passion in a scholarly way, come check out:

Ex Post Facto Research


Are you tired of seeing good data not being put to good use?
Do you want to avoid having to collect new data? Try ex post facto research.

Ex post facto research uses data already collected, but not necessarily amassed for research purposes. Ex post facto literally means from what is done afterwards. Ex post facto research can be viewed as an experimental research in reverse. Cohen, Manion, and Morison (2000) noted that instead of taking groups that are equivalent and subjecting them to different treatments to determine differences in the dependent variables, an ex post facto experiment begins with groups that are already different in some respect and searches in retrospect for factors that brought about those differences. In this way, ex post facto research can transform a non-experimental research design into a pseudo-experimental study.

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Choosing The Right Research Method


In 1988, I was at a luncheon with a few friends and colleagues.  We were all professionals who were progressing in our fields, but realizing that obtaining a doctorate would provide greater opportunities for advancement. We agreed that we wanted to be taken more seriously by others, wanted to do more research, teach full-time at a university, and take a leadership role in developing policy based on research. In addition we all wanted to become more intellectually engaged and affect positive social change. That day we made a pact to return to school and obtain our doctorates.

We all succeeded in fulfilling our pact. However, it took my colleagues 6 years longer than me to obtain their degrees.  Years later when we reflected on our doctoral journey, it was apparent that my colleagues had selected a “wrong methodology” for their dissertation, and I had selected a “correct methodology.”   One of the reasons I wrote Recipes was to help doctoral learners understand their research typology, which will likely help make the dissertation process a more palatable one.

Take the survey on Choosing your Research Method and see if this helps inform your research journey.