Primary research is research that you create yourself
This could be by carrying out interviews and getting people to respond to questionnaires
It can involve both qualitative and quantitative research
You can tailor your research to get the information you need
You can ask additional questions during interviews
It can take a long time to set-up, gather and collate information
Finding reliable respondents can be difficult
Secondary research involves looking at existing material
It allows you to look at resources that have already been created
It could also involve both qualitative and quantitative research
The research is already out there. All you have to do is sift through it.
There are a wide range of resources available
The research may not be entirely suited to your needs
You are reliant on the accuracy and integrity of other researchers work
Using primary research
You can use primary research to:
Ask specific questions that only a fan can answer
Get a more intimate insight into the tastes of an audience
Ask any questions that you could not find answers to
Use the interview to confirm your findings from your
To gather feedback on a finished product
Your primary research could involve getting people to answer a questionnaire . You could
then conduct an interview with someone who regularly reads a magazine in your chosen
genre or who is a fan of the music you will make.
Using secondary research
You can use secondary research to:
Analyse existing products
Find out about a magazines readership
Understand more about a music scene/genre
Identify the mise en scene of the genre
Identify key bands or artists within that genre
You have already carried out some secondary research by looking at existing products. Try
to find out more about the audience for those products. The publishers website might
contain information that could help you.
A questionnaire is a research tool containing a series of questions for the
purpose of gathering information.
Questionnaires are cheap to do
They do not require much effort from the questioner as they often have
standardised answers that make it simple to compile data
The wording should be kept simple: no technical or specialised language.
Interviews are a more personal form of research than questionnaires.
The interviewer works directly with the respondent.
The interviewer has the opportunity to probe or ask follow up questions.
Interviews are useful if what is sought is opinions or impressions
Interviews can be time consuming and they are resource intensive
It is harder to collate the data
A closed question is one which can be answered using a simple yes or no, a specific piece
of information or a selection from a multiple choice.
How old are you?
Where do you live?
Why might we use them?
They are easy to answer.
They are quick to answer.
They keep control of the conversation with the questioner.
They give information you can use in a chart or graph
An open question is one which deliberately seeks longer answers and is the opposite of a
What is it like where you live?
What do you feel about politics?
Why might we use them?
They ask the respondent to think and reflect.
They will give you opinions and feelings.
They hand control of the conversation to the respondent.
Quantitative research is used to measure the number of people who feel, think
or act in a particular way. It is usually the result of closed questions.
The results can then be used as statistics. This information can then be used to
create charts and graphs to illustrate the findings.
The research can be broad and wide ranging in who it targets or may be aimed at
a more specific demographic.
Questionnaires often produce quantitative research
Qualitative research is used to measure how people feel.
It is usually the result of open questions.
The results give a wide range of answers and the results can be hard to use as
Results of interviews and focus groups are examples of qualitative research.
These are the voice of the people.
You normally ask one open question.
You have a specific way of setting the camera up.
Survey Monkey is a quick, easy
and FREE! way of getting
responses to your
Once you have created your
questionnaire you can post it
anywhere on the internet, for
example your blog.
Survey Monkey will collate the
information for you as well,
you just have to interpret it.
It also saves paper.
To get the best results from your research you will need to use a mix of techniques to
Use both quantitative and qualitative research methods.
Ensure your research is aimed at your target audience and is appropriate to them. There
is no point collecting information on fans of classical music if you are making a magazine
for an audience who listens to metal.
Think about how the research can help influence your project. What do you need to
Your research should have an influence on the plans you make for your magazine.