Preprint / Version 1

Laboratory and Field-Based Data Collection (Quantitative)

In: Eimear Dolan and James Steele (Eds). Research Methods in Sport and Exercise Science. An Open-Access Primer. Published by the Society for Transparency, Openness and Replication in Kinesiology.


  • Bryan Saunders University of São Paulo
  • Felipe Marticorena Universidade de São Paulo
  • Philip Hurst
  • Lewis Gough



Data collection, Laboratory, Field testing, Randomization


Rigorous assessment of sport and exercise measures is a requirement for any scientist aiming to answer a research question. Sport and exercise scientists may strive to answer questions such as, "Does caffeine improve an athlete’s performance?”, "What are the physiological determinants of endurance running?" and "When can an athlete return to training after injury?". Researchers aim to answer these questions through data collection in experimental studies that are designed to test a hypothesis and provide robust evidence on a topic. This is pertinent as the replicability of findings in sport and exercise research has been questioned (Mesquida et al., 2022). By prioritizing methodological quality in research, researchers can enhance the credibility and trustworthiness of their findings and, in turn, promote the replicability of research findings in the field of sport and exercise science. To help researchers design their studies, there are several guidelines that offer recommendations on appropriate reporting (Consolidated Standards Of Reporting Trials, CONSORT) with some more specific to exercise nutrition (Proper Reporting of Evidence in Sport and Exercise Nutrition Trials, PRESENT) (Betts et al., 2020). While these provide excellent considerations to ensure reporting of the scientific method is complete, they can also be used as guidelines implemented prior to data collection to ensure that the study results are robust.


Quantitative data collection in sport and exercise research can include different methods including surveys and questionnaires, biomechanical and physiological measures and exercise capacity and performance measures. These data can be obtained in controlled laboratory environments or in an applied setting (e.g., during a race) depending upon the specific research question. Here we aim to focus primarily on practical data collection, such as obtaining measures of physiological responses and exercise performance. Furthermore, fundamental to this is the use of randomised controlled trials, which are often regarded as the cornerstone of any data collection researchers conduct across the field of science. Below, we provide an overview of the essential components that researchers should consider both in the laboratory and field, with emphasis given to collecting data during randomised controlled trials.


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