Orientation Observation In-depth interviews Document analysis and semiology Conversation and discourse analysis Secondary Data Surveys Experiments Ethics Research outcomes



Social Research Glossary

About Researching the Real World



© Lee Harvey 2012–2020

Page updated 29 April, 2020

Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012–2020, Researching the Real World, available at
All rights belong to author.


A Guide to Methodology

11. Research outcomes

11.1 Introduction
11.2 Writing the research report

11.2.1 Readability
11.2.2 Suggested structure for a research report

11.2.3 Referencing, footnotes and language

11.3 Types of research outcomes
11.4 Potential audience
11.5 Research dissemination strategy

11.4 Potential audience

The nature of the research outcomes will also help to specify the audience for the research. Is the potential audience a highly specialised academic group? For example, research into finding an alternative to conventional blood transfusion techniques in the case of uncontrolled haemorrhage on the battlefield (Gourlay et al., 2018) had a very specific target audience and was published in the Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps.

Is it intended for all practitioners in a subject discipline? For example, an analysis by Mike Savage et al. (2013) of the BBC's 2011 Great British Class Survey, with 161,400 web respondents, the largest survey of social class ever conducted in the UK, was aimed at sociologists in general and is among the most read papers in Sociology.

Is it intended to inform a non-disciplinary grouping? For example, a study on the advantages and disadvantages of work experience for undergraduate students aimed at employers and academics in general (Harvey et al., 1988).

Is it intended as a communication aimed at the general public? For example, Stephen Hawking's (1988) A Brief History of Time, which explained the latest thinking in astronomy, written for non-specialist readers with no prior knowledge of astronomical theories.


Next 11.5 Research dissemination strategy