Case Study 1
Case Study 2
Case Study 3
Case Study 4
Case Study 5
Case Studies Index
Review of graphical environments on the WWW as a means of widening public participation in social science research
4. Case studies
A total a five representative web sites have been chosen on the basis of
their specific area of application, substantive focus, the methods and
techniques of interaction (interface) used, and the level of public
participation involved.The five chosen web sites are:
All five of the
sites chosen include at least some participation, be it actual or planned, as
a key element of their research objectives. The level and methods of
participation range from the use of simple on-line questionnaires to gather
survey information through to sophisticated 3D virtual worlds aimed at
gathering real-time perception/response/action information (although it is
noted that the latter are still experimental and may not have both a true
participatory element or social science aims).
- Psychology Survey,
Psychology Department, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
- A Review of
Web-based Tools for Creating Questionnaires and Inputting and Analysing Survey
- Landscape Preferences, Land Use Science Group, Macaulay Land Use
Research Institute, Aberdeen.
- Where to Dispose of Britain's Nuclear Waste,
School of Geography, University of Leeds.
- Virtual Environments.
Detailed examination of chosen case study sites was carried out on-line and
through the review of associated site specific literature. This has been
followed up by interviews and discussions with the web site managers and
authors by the most appropriate means (e.g. email and telephone). This
follow-up was vital to correctly identify the salient characteristics of the
web site and the raison d'être behind its inception. Information
of particular interest to this case study review includes:
- the reason behind choosing a web-based approach over other more traditional
methods of social science research;
- the level and methods of graphical
visualisation deemed necessary to communicate the substantive social science
element of the problem/research to the client (user);
- the level and methods of
interaction, particularly that of a graphical nature, deemed necessary to
engage the public in the social science objectives of the server (web site);
quality and quantity of the responses gained by these methods and how these
compare (or are seen to compare) to responses gained by more traditional
methods of social science research; and
- the perceived level of success and/or
failure of the case study web-sites based on evidence from the above.