Research News

Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Interactive Textbook

Under a contract from the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (, The New England Research Institutes (NERI) ( has developed an interactive, online course on research methods and tools for researchers engaging in behavioral and social sciences (BSS) research on health-related topics.

The mission OBSSR is to

  • enhance behavioral and social science research in the NIH,
  • integrate a bio-behavioral perspective across the research areas of the NIH, and to
  • encourage the study of behavioral and social sciences across NIH's institutes,centers, and offices.

Reflecting this mission, the e-Source online resource for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research advances the methodological skill set of new and established researchers on the latest research methods, approaches and translation of BSS research.

It also provides an easy means by which investigators can efficiently obtain answers to emerging methodological concerns. Specifically, it:

  1. Demonstrates the considerable potential of BSS research to enhance biomedical research;
  2. Serves as a resource center for the most current and high quality BSS research methods with references to and examples of well designed studies in BSS research and information on how to easily and efficiently obtain authoritative answers to methodological questions;
  3. Provides information on how to integrate BSS research into a variety of biomedical research activities; and
  4. Updates and strengthens the impact of BSS research by identifying consistent and high quality standards for the research community.

To view this course, go to Recognized international experts in their fields are developing the 16 modules for this web-based learning site:

  • Determining Appropriate Methods
    John B. McKinlay, PhD
  • The Concept of 'Science' in the Behavioral and Social Sciences
    Jeffrey Coulter, PhD
  • Theory Development and Construction
    Stephen Turner, PhD
  • Concepts in Sample Surveys
    Sarah M. Nusser, PhD and Michael D. Larsen, PhD
  • Do's and Don'ts of interviewing
    Steve Woodland, PhD
  • Administrative Data Systems in Behavioral and Social Science Research on Health and Aging
    Vincent Mor, PhD
  • A Reporting Checklist for Observational Studies
    Richard Berk, PhD
  • Using Qualitative Methods to Study Health and Illness
    David Silverman, PhD
  • Conversation Analysis as an Approach to the Medical Encounter
    John Heritage, PhD
  • Integrating Software and Qualitative Analysis
    Eben Weitzman, PhD
  • Clinical Trials
    Duolao Wang, PhD and Ameet Bakhai, MD, MRCP
  • Cluster Unit Randomized Trials
    Allan Donner, PhD
  • Multi-level Modeling: A Conceptual and Methodological Overview
    S. V. Subramanian, PhD
  • Operationalizing, Measuring and Defining Psychosocial Variables
    Keith Widaman, PhD
  • Ensuring Conceptual Cultural and Equivalence
    Leo Morales, PhD
  • From Quality of Life to Patient-Reported Outcomes
    Donald L. Patrick, PhD and Gordon Guyatt, PhD