Community Research Resources

The Center for Social Science Research (CSSR) conducts research with and for communities. CSSR also assists communities in conducting their own research. To that end, CSSR has developed this community research resource page. We hope this resource page will support community groups in doing research. CSSR is committed to grow research capacity for community benefit.

Building research capacity in local communities means:

  • Communities lead in identifying problems and solutions.
  • Communities are experts.
  • Researchers practice community-based collaborative inquiry.
  • Researchers assist and support community members in creating positive and lasting change.

The resources found here offer hands-on guidance for how to conduct a research project from start to end.

Getting Started:

The 5 learning modules are meant to serve as public resources for anyone who wants to learn more about how to conduct social science research. These resources are organized into 5 learning modules: 

In the 5 modules, you will find: 

  • Slides about how to design a research question, moving from research topics to research questions, and discussions about research ethics.
  • Slides introducing various research methods used in social science: interviews, ethnographic observation, and survey research.
  • Slides about how to write a research report or paper and how social research can create change.
  • Worksheets with discussion questions and homework assignments for participants

Feel free to skip around or start from the beginning.

The information on these pages was first developed for a 5-part community research workshop series piloted in partnership with United Community, a Center for Social Science Research community partner. The community research workshop is focused on building greater research capacity in the communities, especially those communities historically marginalized to promote community control over knowledge created about their own communities.

Other Resources: 

These videos and presentations offer practical guidance using open-source digital tools (which are free to the public) for research, and include: 

  1. Using Zotero for Research - This video covers how to use Zotero software to catalog and organize existing research literature through Google Scholar. With J Orisha.
  2. How to Use Google Forms - This video explains the ins and outs of Google Forms and how to administer surveys. With Emma Vetter.
  3. Analyzing Survey Data in Google Forms - This video demonstrates how to analyze survey data in Google Forms. With Emma Vetter.
  4. A Practical Guide to Qualitative Coding - This PowerPoint presentation provides an overview of coding, coding software, and accessing it. With Tharuna Kalaivanan and Kellie Wilkerson
  5. Using Canva Infographics for Research - This video details how to use free Canva to design promotional flyers and posters for research. With J Orisha.