RESEARCH & How to create an online research library like ChurchHealth.wiki

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 10/19/17.

I get requests from colleagues, students and ministry leaders regarding how to set up a -wiki, like my ChurchHealth.wiki

Here is my QuickStart Guide to creating a -wiki:

1. Get a URL that ends in .wiki

  • For example, I use ChurchHealth.wiki.
  • Get it at any domain registration service, such as GoDaddy.com

2. Go to wordpress.com

  • Sign up and create a blog.
  • You don’t need to call it a blog, you can call it a -wiki if it is an encyclopedia-type resource.

3. Write and link to articles that are relevant to your field and via links:

  • Post videos,
  • post articles,
  • write articles,
  • excerpt your books, etc.

4. Add a short introduction re. the relevance of each posting for your readers.

5. Tell others to “follow” your site … they will receive a short email synopsis when you make new posts.

Results:

  • Thousands of students, colleagues and friends can follow the latest articles you discover or write in your field.
  • Visitors can “search by word” to find articles relevant to their interest.
  • You can “search by word” to find articles relevant to books/articles you are writing.

STUDENT SUCCESS & How to Find Scholarly Articles if You Are a @WesleySeminary Student #OCLS

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Sometimes my students have difficulty locating scholarly journal articles. This is because not all scholarly articles have yet to be catalogued by search engines such as Google. However, if you are a Wesley Seminary student we have provided you a quick and easy way to access almost every scholarly journal that has been published. This service is called Off-campus Library Services (OCLS). Here is how they explain the process for downloading (free to Wesley Seminary students) the following article:

Hagley, S.J. (2008, September 1). [Review of the book Organizational change: Theory and practice, by W.W. Burke]. Journal of Religious Leadership 7, no. 2 125-128. 3 pp.

Begin forwarded message:
Date: February 15, 2017 at 7:52:01 PM EST
To: “Whitesel, Bob” <Bob.Whitesel@indwes.edu>

Bob,
Thank you for contacting OCLS. Due to Federal Copyright Law restrictions, we are not able to provide a copy of any article to you for you to distribute to your students. They will need to individually contact us for any articles they need.

However, this particular article is available through our site.

You/they will need to start on the OCLS homepage, www2.indwes.edu/ocls, and click on “Journal Titles” from the “Key Links” section.

In the search box, type in the name of the journal, which is Journal of Religious Leadership, and click on “Search.”

You/they will see that there is only one database through which we have access to this journal: ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. Click on the link for that database.

Once you’ve clicked on the database link, you/they will be taken to a new screen. Select “+2008” from the list of years under the “All Issues” section on the far right.

Then select “Volume 7 Issue 2 – Fall 2008.” Scroll down the list of articles from that issue and the one you/they need is number 8. Click on “PDF Full Text” to read the article.

If you or your students have any questions, please let us know. Thank you and have a wonderful evening!

OFF CAMPUS LIBRARY SERVICES

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RESEARCH & A two-minute guide to understanding independent / dependent variables & regression analysis

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Even though my students are working in the social sciences, they still must chart regression analyses to support their hunches with facts. Here is Harvard Business Review’s introduction to this important research tool.

The Refresher: Regression Analysis

by Amy Gallo, Harvard Business Review, 11/4/15.

CLICK to watch the 2-minute video > //players.brightcove.net/2071817190001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5299994733001

A two-minute guide to one of the most important types of data analysis. For more, read “A Refresher on Regression Analysis.”   Read more at … https://hbr.org/video/5299994733001/the-refresher-regression-analysisSave

RESEARCH & An Introduction to the Academy for Intercultural Church Research

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  I was honored to be involved in the launch of The Academy for Intercultural Church Research, a network of researchers dedicated to analyzing and researching multicultural churches such as multiethnic churches, multi-generational churches, churches reaching out to multiple socioeconomic levels, etc. Below is their home page. Be sure to bookmark it and  check out their journal which features the latest research on congregations that are transitioning into healthy multicultural churches.

AICR Home page picture.jpg

RESEARCH & Summaries of Most Major Studies of No. American Congregations

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  This list, curated by Hartford Seminary’s Hartford Institute for Religion Research, is one of the best curated listings of scholarly research available on the web.


“The study of congregations has become a primary focus of sociologists of religion in the past decade.  The local church is now seen by researchers as an important component of an individual’s faith and religious practice in the United States.  The increased role of congregations in American public life makes the study of these local religious organizations increasingly important.

This section offers summaries of major research projects which have the congregation as a focus of study.  They are listed in rough chronological order.”

Others research summaries coming soon.

View congregational survey question bank drawn from the survey instruments of several of the above projects


More research from Hartford Seminary’s Hartford Institute for Religion Research Page (below):

Visit our research section on Megachurches – This section of the site contains research, writings and an extensive database of megachurches in the U.S.

Women and Religion – Information from several studies on the role of women in religion can be found in this section.  Included are links to other web resources on women and religion.

Religion and the Family – Several recent studies on religion and changing family dynamics are highlighted in this section. Information on the family ministries of churches and denominations is also included.

Religion and the Web – The Internet is changing the face of religion. Several articles discussing these changes are included here. This section also has links to sites about religion and the Internet.

Pentecostalism – Pentecostalism is one of the fastest growing religious phenomena in the past century.  Research on religious groups practicing expressive, charismatic worship is described in this section.

Orthodox Churches in the United States – This section has one of a kind research on the major branches of the Orthodox Church in the USA.  It includes tables of fact, articles and links to more information.

Homosexuality and Religion – This section contains information on this controversial topic.  Included here are reports of denominational debates, research data and links to information on this subject.

Quick Questions – Our quick questions section is the archive of factoids drawn from studies and research reports we feature in this web site.  Individual questions are rotated onto our homepage approximately every week.  These questions are intended to highlight the diverse research findings contained on the Institute web site.

Faith Based Social Services/Charitable Choice – Links to research articles and other useful sites are provided here on the subject of congregations providing social services to address issues of the needy within their community.

RESEARCH & Launch meeting of Academy for Intercultural Church Research (AICR)

Launch meeting of Academy for Intercultural Church Research (AICR). Pres. Joanne Solis-Walker, vice-president Urban D, sec/treasurer Oneya Okuwobi, journal editor Andy Merritt.

image

RESEARCH & StudyingCongregations.org is One of the Largest Research Sites for Studying Churches

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: One of the best research sites offering not only tools for studying churches, but also links to relevant scholarly research, is the newly relaunched StudyingCongregations.org. Led by scholars from the University of Boston’s renowned sociology department, check out their church analysis tools and links to scholarly articles at: http://studyingcongregations.org/

“The Studying Congregations Research Collection has hundreds of citations and resources with more being added all the time.” (from studyingcongregations.org)

COLLABORATION & What Happens When You Don’t Work With Others: A Bone to Pick #WSJ

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Academic researchers tend to stay in their academic silos and not participate with other academic disciplines in their research. But research can be more reliable and valid when researchers work with other disciplines to foster ‘inter-disciplinary research.image‘ For example, I recently suggested to my colleagues in the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education (www.AETE.co) that we conduct our research on evangelism alongside sociologists, psychologists and other interested researchers. This can not only make our research more valid and reliable … but also more helpful. Read this story about the consequences that result when academics stay within their own research silos.”

A Bone to Pick

by NICHOLAS WADE, Wall Street Journal, 6/18/15.

Finding human fossils can be a contact sport, as researchers squeeze out competitors by denouncing them to the local authorities.

In 1912, the British paleoanthropological establishment was deceived into thinking that bones found at Piltdown were those of an early human ancestor. The specimen was promptly named Eoanthropus, or “dawn man,” amid general satisfaction that the earliest human had turned out to be British, not French or German. Perhaps feeling his prank had gone too far, the perpetrator of the Piltdown hoax then salted the site with an artifact that, if human credulity had any reasonable limits, should have brought the show to a close—a piece of elephant bone carved to resemble a cricket bat. But even this startling item was received without dissent, and the Piltdown skull hung around for another 40 years until modern methods proved it to be a forgery.

The Piltdown hoax is recounted in “The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack” as a lesson in how easily paleoanthropologists—those who study human fossils—can be misled by notions that play to their prejudices. The author, Ian Tattersall, is himself a paleoanthropologist and has watched the antics of his profession for many years from a front-row seat at the American Museum of Natural History. His account of the field raises the wider issue of how, despite the supposed rigor of the scientific method, whole communities of scientists can occasionally be blown far off course by nonscientific motivations.

One of paleoanthropology’s problems, as Mr. Tattersall sees it, has been professional isolation from other sciences. From its beginnings in the 19th century, the subject was dominated by anatomists who paid minute attention to bone shapes and little to taxonomy or other relevant biological disciplines. These anatomists would make oracular pronouncements, which were basically intuitions beyond the reach of scientific analysis. One advised the young Mr. Tattersall that if he stared at the fossils for long enough, the bones would speak to him.

Read more at … http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-bone-to-pick-1434667925

RESEARCH & From Telephone to the Web: The Challenge of Mode of Interview Effects in Public Opinion Polls #PewResearch

by Pew Research, 5/14/15.

Using its nationally representative American Trends Panel, Pew Research Center conducted a large-scale experiment that tested the effects of the mode of survey interview – in this case, a telephone survey with an interviewer vs. a self-administered survey on the Web – on results from a set of 60 questions like those commonly asked by the center’s research programs. This report describes the effort to catalog and evaluate mode effects in public opinion surveys.

The study finds that differences in responses by survey mode are fairly common, but typically not large, with a mean difference of 5.5 percentage points and a median difference of five points across the 60 questions. The differences range in size from 0 to 18 percentage points. The results are based on 3,003 respondents who were randomly assigned to either the phone or Web mode and interviewed July 7-Aug. 4, 2014 for this study.

Where differences occurred, they were especially large on three broad types of questions: Items that asked the respondent to assess the quality of their family and social life produced differences of 18 and 14 percentage points, respectively, with those interviewed on the phone reporting higher levels of satisfaction than those who completed the survey on the Web.

Different Answers on Web & PhoneQuestions about societal discrimination against several different groups also produced large differences, with telephone respondents more apt than Web respondents to say that gays and lesbians, Hispanics and blacks face a lot of discrimination. However, there was no significant mode difference in responses to the question of whether women face a lot of discrimination.

Web respondents were far more likely than those interviewed on the phone to give various political figures a “very unfavorable” rating, a tendency that was concentrated among members of the opposite party of each figure rated…

Read more at … http://www.pewresearch.org/2015/05/13/from-telephone-to-the-web-the-challenge-of-mode-of-interview-effects-in-public-opinion-polls/?utm_source=Pew+Research+Center&utm_campaign=584e6a283d-&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3e953b9b70-584e6a283d-399907237

RESEARCH & How to access Pew Research Center survey data #DMin #FullerSem

By Scott Ketter, Pew Research Center, 1/28/15.

…There are two ways to locate and download this and any other Pew Research Center dataset. Each research area at the center has a “Datasets” or “Data and Resources” section with the available data listed in reverse chronological order by when the survey was fielded:

Pew Research Datasets

To download a particular dataset, click the “Download” button. You will be asked to fill out a short information sheet, which helps us better understand who is using our data. It also allows us to notify users if there is any update or change to the data.

The center makes the data available for most of its reports. If a dataset is available, you will see an icon on the right hand side of the page and a label indicating that it is available for downloading:

FT_15.01.28_getData2

… Included with most datasets available for download is additional material related to the study. A “readme” file is included that describes the data and may include special notes about the data, or syntax for specific variables that are constructed. A full questionnaire provides question wording and ordering for the study (and can be used as a codebook). In the case of ASCII datasets, the questionnaire and/or readme provide layout instructions. Most dataset releases also include a topline and a full methodology statement.

Pew Research datasets are widely used by scholars and students. Among the hundreds of survey datasets available, here are some of the most popular and frequently downloaded:

Read more at … http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/01/28/how-to-access-pew-research-center-survey-data/

RESEARCH & Crafting Research in the Service of Theological Education #WesleySem

by Joel B. Green, Theological Education Volume 46 Number 1 (2010), p. 10

What is scholarship? Three or four years ago, I was involved in putting together a definition, and this is the language we drafted:

Scholarship means engaging in original research as well as stepping back from one’s investigation in order to look for connections, build bridges, and communicate one’s work effectively.

Accordingly, the term scholarship recognizes discovery, integration, application, and teaching as separate but overlapping dimensions. You may recognize that, with this definition, we were borrowing from Ernest L. Boyer’s book, Scholarship Reconsidered, and especially from the conversation about assessing faculty scholarship that Boyer’s work stimulated.8 We defined an activity as scholarly if it met certain criteria:

• if it requires disciplinary expertise;

• if it is performed in a manner characterized by clear goals, adequate prep- aration, and appropriate methodology;

• if its results are appropriately documented and disseminated; and

• if its significance extends beyond the context of the individual but some- how contributes to the field of inquiry and is subjected to peer evaluation.

This includes books, but not only books. In fact, all kinds of cultural products can arise out of that way of thinking about scholarship.

Download the entire article here: Green on Seminary Research Agendas.pdf

CASE STUDY & The Necessity of Evidence-Based Leadership

“If doctors practiced medicine like many churches practice management, there would be more unnecessarily sick or dead patients and many more doctors in jail or suffering other penalties for malpractice.”

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Sometimes people ask why I continue to do church health/growth consulting almost every weekend, when I have a full-time position as professor of missional leadership at Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University. The reason is because when consulting I discover emerging and effective leadership practices. This is called “evidence – based knowledge.” This HBR article points out why it is critical for all leaders (and academics) to experience this. Here is my paraphrase of a paragraph from the article: “The same behavior holds true for pastors looking to cure their organizational ills. Indeed, we would argue, pastors are actually much more ignorant than doctors about which prescriptions are reliable—and they’re less eager to find out. If doctors practiced medicine like many churches practice management, there would be more unnecessarily sick or dead patients and many more doctors in jail or suffering other penalties for malpractice.”

Evidence-Based Management by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton, Harvard Business Review, January 2006.

A bold new way of thinking has taken the medical establishment by storm in the past decade: the idea that decisions in medical care should be based on the latest and best knowledge of what actually works. Dr. David Sackett, the individual most associated with evidence-based medicine, defines it as “the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients.” Sackett, his colleagues at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and the growing number of physicians joining the movement are committed to identifying, disseminating, and, most importantly, applying research that is soundly conducted and clinically relevant.

If all this sounds laughable to you—after all, what else besides evidence would guide medical decisions?—then you are woefully naive about how doctors have traditionally plied their trade. Yes, the research is out there—thousands of studies are conducted on medical practices and products every year. Unfortunately, physicians don’t use much of it. Recent studies show that only about 15% of their decisions are evidence based. For the most part, here’s what doctors rely on instead: obsolete knowledge gained in school, long-standing but never proven traditions, patterns gleaned from experience, the methods they believe in and are most skilled in applying, and information from hordes of vendors with products and services to sell.

The same behavior holds true for managers looking to cure their organizational ills. Indeed, we would argue, managers are actually much more ignorant than doctors about which prescriptions are reliable—and they’re less eager to find out. If doctors practiced medicine like many companies practice management, there would be more unnecessarily sick or dead patients and many more doctors in jail or suffering other penalties for malpractice.

It’s time to start an evidence-based movement in the ranks of managers. Admittedly, in some ways, the challenge is greater here than in medicine. (See the sidebar “What Makes It Hard to Be Evidence Based?”) The evidence is weaker; almost anyone can (and often does) claim to be a management expert; and a bewildering array of sources—Shakespeare, Billy Graham, Jack Welch, Tony Soprano, fighter pilots, Santa Claus, Attila the Hun—are used to generate management advice. Managers seeking the best evidence also face a more vexing problem than physicians do: Because companies vary so wildly in size, form, and age, compared with human beings, it is far more risky in business to presume that a proven “cure” developed in one place will be effective elsewhere…

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2006/01/evidence-based-management/ar/1

STRATEGY & 3 Integral Steps: How to Use Research to Shape Your Strategic Plan

By Hanover Research, 5/1/14
hanover

“In the following paper (released in May 2014), Hanover Research outlines three research strategies (stakeholder surveys, brand perception and awareness studies, and SWOT analyses) to help institutions stay ahead of the pack by replacing guesses with informed choices throughout the planning process.”

Read more at … http://www.hanoverresearch.com/media/3-Integral-Steps-How-to-Use-Research-to-Shape-Your-Strategic-Plan.pdf?&__hssc=&__hstc&hsCtaTracking=981cc812-4498-40d3-bfcd-3f8ad5d07616%7C89ee87c9-cad4-49f0-8aeb-d5b570d1a3ad

RESEARCH & Are Youth Groups Bad? A Rant on Bad Research via @EdStetzer

by Ed Stetzer, 5/19/14

Research show that youth groups are bad for our students, right? Not so fast.

Are Youth Groups Bad? A Rant on Bad Research

I tweeted this a while back:

“Youth Groups Driving Christian Teens to Abandon Faith” may win the worst research story ever award. http://bit.ly/1n9xryk

But, this has bothered me enough that it’s time for a rant… so here it goes. I wrote the rant the day it came out, calmed down a bit, and decided now is the time to publish it.

So…

Now, everyone makes a mistake. But, sometimes, an article just proves a point about bad research.

So, let’s dive in and look at four factors that show this is bad research…”

Read more at … http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/may/are-youth-groups-bad.html?paging=off

HUMOR & Funny graphs show correlation does not imply causation #ResearchStatistics

“In an ongoing and geekily hilarious collection of evidence in defense of the fact that correlation does not imply causation, Harvard law student Tyler Vigen shares charts showing ‘spurious correlations‘ — high correlation between two random, unrelated statistics.”

Divorce and Margarine

FIGURE Spurious-Correlations-01-685x432

Bedsheet Deaths and Ski Profits

FIGURE Spurious-Correlations-02-685x442
See seven more correlated but completely unrelated stats at … http://twentytwowords.com/funny-graphs-show-correlation-between-completely-unrelated-stats-9-pictures/