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Research Variable / Study Variable

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Types of Variables > Research Variable / Study Variable

A research variable (also called a study variable) is an informal term that means any variable used in research that has some kind of cause and effect relationship. A research/study variable can be one of a wide variety of variables used in a study, including independent variables, dependent variables, and intervening variables.

As these are informal terms, there isn’t a precise definition unless you’re using it within the context of a clinical trial (see below). You’re more likely to see the terms used conversationally or in informal areas like a journalistic piece, a pre-research questionnaire, or a “how-to” type book (rather than a textbook). For example, this Study Variable worksheet asks the researcher to “Name the study variables and label each as either independent or dependent.”

Clinical Study Variable

A Study variable, used in the context of designing a clinical trial, is any variable to be captured on a case report form.

If you’re using JMP Clinical (which is, essentially, JMP for the purposes of studying clinical data), you might come across a specific type of report called a study variable report, which “Generates a PDF listing required/conditional variables used by the study for each option in each report.” JMP Clinical reports are subdivided into functional areas; Launch this particular report type by clicking the following button:
research variable study variable


Bellary, S. et al. (2014). Basics of case report form designing in clinical research. Retrieved May 10, 2019 from: Study Variable Worksheet. Retrieved May 10, 2019 from:
JMP Clinical User’s Guide: Study Variable Report. Retrieved May 10, 2019 from:
Wihbey, J. (2015). Guide to critical thinking, research, data and theory: Overview for journalists. Retrieved May 10, 2019 from:

Stephanie Glen. "Research Variable / Study Variable" From Elementary Statistics for the rest of us!

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