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The OU Project Guide, written by two members of the Open University (OU) staff, forms an integral part of the Open University's Third Level Science Course (S326 Ecology). It has been "tested" and refined at Field Studies Council (FSC) Centres, both by the FSC's own staff and by previous generations of OU students. It will be useful for all of those faced with the challenge of devising and carrying out biological projects in the field.
The OU Project Guide lays special emphasis on the planning phase – on the need to consider the eventual statistical analysis of the data so that the design of the fieldwork facilitates rather than complicates the later phase of the project. Because statistical procedures cause so many problems for biologists, a large section of The OU Project Guide was written to dispel the mystique surrounding them.