The 4 Cs Method
Is the Research: Credible, Contributory, Communicable, and Conforming
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The 4Cs Method ask: Is the research credible, contributory, Communicable, and Conforming?
Is the research Coherent, Consistent, Rigorous and Transparent?
- Rigorous: Research that is Contextual, Internally Valid and Reliable
- Contextual: Existing Knowledge that is relevant for the Context is used, and is presented according to Rules for Description
- Internally Valid: A correct Scientific Method (incl. research design) is used in relation to the Question at Hand and Context, and New Knowledge is Provable
- Reliable: The chosen Scientific Method is appropriate for the present Question at Hand and Context, and is documented in a Described Procedure that others could use to reach a similar result in the same Context
- Consistent: New Knowledge is logically linked to Existing Knowledge and is in accordance with the Scientific Method and Question at Hand
- Coherent: Adequate consideration is given to Existing Knowledge in the chosen Context
- Transparent: Relevant New Knowledge in the reporting of research results is included and the process is described in relation to the Question at Hand, Scientific Method and Existing Knowledge
Is the research Original, Relevant and Generalizable?
- Original Research that has an Original Idea, uses an Original Procedure and produces an Original Result
- Original idea: The Question at Hand has not been asked before in the current Context or is interpreted in a novel way
- Original procedure: Described Procedure is original in relation to the Question at Hand
- Original result: New Knowledge is Provable in relation to Existing Knowledge
- Relevant Research that has a Relevant Research Idea, Applicable Result and Current Idea
- Relevant research idea: Question at Hand is relevant for the current Target Group
- Applicable result New knowledge is Beneficial for the current Target Group
- Current idea The Question at Hand is in accordance with the current Context
- Generalizable New Knowledge is practically or theoretically useful in Contexts other than the one studied
Is the research Consumable, Accessible and Searchable?
- Consumable Research that is Structured, Understandable and Readable
- Structured The Research documentation follows the Rules for Description
- Understandable The language in the Research documentation is understandable for the Target Group
- Readable Correct language in the Research documentation for the Target Group
- Accessible New Knowledge is easily available to the Target Group
- Searchable The documented New Knowledge is structured according to the Rules for Description and easily found by the Target Group
Is the research Research Regulatory Aligned, Ethical and Sustainable?
- Aligned with regulations The Research complies with currently applicable legal aspects of the System of Rules
- Ethical The Research is Morally Justifiable, Open and supports Equal Opportunities
- Morally justifiable The Research complies with currently applicable ethical standards as described in the System of Rules
- Open The Research demonstrates Transparency with currently applicable ethical standards as described in the System of Rules
- Equal opportunities The Research is consistent with equal treatment according to the System of Rules
- Sustainable The Research complies with sustainable development aspects as described in the System of Rule
Sources: Credit for the 4 Cs goes to P. Mårtensson et al. / Evaluating research: A multidisciplinary approach to assessing research practice and quality / Research Policy 45 (2016) 593–603