Framing your research question

Question frameworks are used to help you turn your research question into the searches you will need for databases and search engines


SPIDER – has been designed to enable researchers to develop a research question evaluating experiences of a specific phenomenon.

  • Who are your participants?
Phenomenon of
  • Which issue do you want to know about your participants' attitudes to and/or experiences of?
  • What type of study are you doing?
  • Which results are you focussing on?
  • How are you measuring them?
Research type
  • Is it qualitative, quantitative or a mixture of both?


Reference: Cooke, A., Smith, D., & Booth, A. (2012). Beyond PICO: The SPIDER tool for qualitative evidence synthesis. Qualitative Health Research, 22(10), 1435-1443. doi: 10.1186/s12874-017-0468-4 opens in a new window