The Everyday Researcher – Part 2

19th April, 2011

In my last post I introduced the notion that every one of us, as individuals from all walks of life, is an active ‘researcher’.

By that I mean as individuals we all have a ‘toolkit’ of basic research skills that we use, generally without knowing it, as we go about our everyday lives. For example, like many people I use comparison websites, with or without meerkats, to find the best deals on car insurance, broadband, house insurance and so on. Similarly before going to do the weekly shop I look in my cupboards to see what I need to buy and when in the supermarket I compare the products on offer before making my choice. Simply put I’m being an ‘everyday researcher’ in that I’m identifying the issue, locating the evidence, analysing the information and applying the results.


Right now the issue at hand is that I’m considering whether or not to buy an e-book reader – and if so which one should I get. Currently I’m at the ‘hypothesise’ or ‘let’s identify the problem’ stage.

After all if you don’t know what the problem is or what you hope to discover at the end then you might as well give up before you start. In my case, I want an e-reader, but:

1.      Do I really need one or should I perhaps consider a tablet PC?

2.      What do I want to do with it?

3.      What features am I looking for?

4.      How much am I willing (or able) to pay?

5.      Which option offers the best value for money?

With these objectives in mind I’m now ready to go out and collect the information (i.e. evidence) I need to help me with deciding which bit of technology is gives me the best deal in terms of what I need it to do and the price I have to pay but more about that next time.