Desktop research Fundamentals

Desktop research, also known as secondary research, is the process of gathering information from existing sources to support various projects, studies, or decision-making processes. 

Competences addressed/ learning outcomes expand_more

After completing this Learning resource participants will be able to:  
-  Develop effective desktop research skills.
-  Identify relevant information and sources of information.
-  Identify the actual issue of research beyond the apparent issue.
-  Evaluate and analyse research findings.
-  Apply research findings to decision-making processes.
-  Enhance critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.


The objectives of this learning resource can be summarised as below:
- To understand the importance of desktop research in acquiring knowledge and information.
- To understand the real research objective
- To learn effective techniques for conducting desktop research.
- To develop skills in evaluating and analysing research findings.
- To apply research findings to inform decision-making processes.
- To enhance critical thinking and problem-solving abilities through research

Theoretical background expand_more

Desktop research, även kallat sekundärforskning, är en process där man samlar in information från befintliga källor för att stödja olika projekt, studier eller beslutsprocesser. Desktop research spelar en viktig roll inom olika områden, inklusive akademisk forskning, affärsplanering, marknadsanalys, beslutsfattande med mera. Genom att utnyttja befintlig information kan forskare spara tid och resurser samtidigt som de får värdefulla insikter för att stödja sina mål. I desktop research är det också viktigt att identifiera den verkliga utmaningen med forskningen, istället för en uppenbar sådan, för att få effektiva och genomslagskraftiga resultat.

Nyckelbegrepp inom Desktop Research:
Definiera forskningsmålen: Det är viktigt att tydligt definiera forskningsmålen innan man börjar med desktop research. Detta steg säkerställer att den insamlade informationen överensstämmer med det avsedda syftet med studien.
Identifiering av tillförlitliga källor: Det är viktigt att identifiera tillförlitliga och trovärdiga informationskällor. Det kan handla om akademiska tidskrifter, välrenommerade webbplatser, statliga publikationer, branschrapporter och expertutlåtanden. Att utvärdera källornas trovärdighet och relevans är avgörande för att säkerställa att forskningsresultaten är tillförlitliga. Du kan använda CRAAP-testet (Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose) för att utvärdera källornas trovärdighet.
Sökstrategier: Effektiva sökstrategier ökar effektiviteten i skrivbordsforskningen. Genom att använda lämpliga nyckelord, avancerade sökoperatorer och boolesk logik kan forskarna begränsa sökresultaten och hitta relevant information snabbare.
Utvärdering av information: Det är viktigt att kritiskt utvärdera den information som samlas in under desktop research. Genom att bedöma källornas tillförlitlighet, noggrannhet, aktualitet och partiskhet kan man säkerställa att resultaten är giltiga.
Sammanställning och analys av data: När informationen har samlats in måste forskarna sammanfatta och analysera data för att få fram meningsfulla insikter. Detta steg innebär att identifiera mönster, trender och relationer inom den insamlade informationen.
Centrala frågor: Att ställa kärnfrågor kan bidra till en heltäckande kartläggning av situationen och till att ta itu med grundorsakerna.

Med en stark grund i desktop research kan individer förbättra sin förmåga att samla in, utvärdera och använda information effektivt och därigenom bidra till att uppnå sina lärandemål inom olika områden.

Step-by-step implementation expand_more

The suggested methodology includes group work, discussions, and reflections. It is suggested to use the downloadable PowerPoint presentation Desktop Research PPT to support the session.

Suitable tools for this exercise include: affinity diagram, how might we, mind map, 6 questions, stakeholder map, and circle of opportunities that you can find in the Social-up Toolkit.

Why? Desk research enables individuals to gain insights into the specific challenges, needs, and experiences of foreign bornwomen. This understanding is crucial for the development of effective social entrepreneurship initiatives that aim to address these challenges. By conducting desk research, one can explore successful social entrepreneurship models or initiatives that have been implemented in similar contexts or with similar target groups. This exploration helps individuals stay informed about relevant policies, regulations, and legal frameworks that impact social entrepreneurship and migrant women. Additionally, desk research allows individuals to gather information on topics related to their business idea and target groups, thus providing a comprehensive understanding of the landscape in which they operate.
1. Start by giving a short introduction to desktop research using the PowerPoint presentation Desktop Research PPT.
· Explain the concept and importance of desktop research in acquiring knowledge and information and how to conduct research effectively.
· Explain that desktop research skills are crucial for obtaining reliable data (verifying the credibility and reliability of sources), staying updated, and making informed decisions.
· Introduce different search strategies and techniques (search engines, databases, online libraries) for conducting effective desktop research.
2. Developing desktop research skills
Step 1. Select a research topic of your choice preferably pertaining to social entrepreneurship. For example, Investigating the Impact of Social Enterprises on X (e.g Poverty Alleviation), Assessing the Contribution of Social Entrepreneurship to X (e.g. Environmental Sustainability), Exploring the Role of Social Entrepreneurship in Empowering Marginalized Groups, Investigating the X of Social Enterprises (e.g. Financial Sustainability).
While social enterprises have been hailed as a promising solution to poverty, it is essential to critically assess their actual impact. This research acknowledges the need to go beyond mere assumptions and examine the real-world outcomes of social entrepreneurship in poverty alleviation efforts. By doing so, we can identify the gaps, challenges, and opportunities associated with social enterprises and their contributions to poverty reduction. To delve deeper into the research topic, a mind map can be constructed to explore the various aspects and dimensions involved. By visually mapping out these subtopics, their interconnections, and potential research questions, a more comprehensive understanding of the research topic can be achieved.
Step 2. Identify and describe three different types of research sources for your chosen topic using the form Desktop Research form. This is an evaluation for of the sources. Ensure that each source represents a distinct type. Examples include academic journal articles, government reports, news articles, blog posts, white papers, etc.
Step 3. Fill in the evaluation form for each source. 
3. Discussion
Organize discussions within each group to encourage learners to share their chosen research topics and the rationale behind their selection. The learners can be divided into small groups to encourage collaboration and the exchange of ideas. Each group can consist of 3 to 5 participants. The discussion can focus on the significance of social entrepreneurship within their chosen topic and how it aligns with their personal interests or professional aspirations. Design thinking tools such as "How Might We" questions can be used to frame the discussions and explore potential research directions. Working in groups allows learners to learn from each other's experiences, perspectives, and research strategies. It also promotes teamwork and problem-solving skills.

Time needed and group sizeexpand_more

TIME: 2 hours
GROUP SIZE: 15-20 learners

Materials needed for implementationexpand_more

· Computers with internet access
· PowerPoint presentation Desktop Research PPT 
· Evaluation form for the sources Desktop Research form printed or to be filled online.
· Access to search engines, databases, and online libraries
Examples of research articles or case studies for analysis and evaluation to find customised for each group

Further resources: Videos and/or useful linksexpand_more


Booth, W. C. C., Bizup, J., Colomb, G. G., Fitzgerald, W. T., & Williams, J. M. (2016). The Craft of Research. University of Chicago Press.
Stickdorn, M., Lawrence, A., Hormess, M. E., & Schneider, J. (2018). This is service design doing: Applying service design thinking in the real world : a practitioners' handbook (First edition.). O'Reilly Media, Inc.
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