Larson, E. (1992). The Naked Consumer. NY: Henry Holt and Company. If you value your privacy, read this for the reason why anyone in modern society can feel violated in the most insidious ways. While marketers say they conduct research in the hopes of selling you things you may not necessarily want, you are inadvertently giving away a piece of your soul each time you give anyone information about yourself. They sell your binary identity to whomever is willing to pay for it. We have all become commodities, stored in some database, existing, sometimes with information that is not only wrong but can be used against us for purposes such information was not intended for. Don't watch the movie, "The Net" too soon before or after you read this book, or you'll be paranoid for all the right reasons.
Leedy, P.D. (1993). Practical Research, Planning and Design. 5th Edition. NY: Macmillan Publishing Company. THE BEST HANDS-ON GUIDE TO THE ART AND SCIENCE OF RESEARCH. Taking a generic approach to the practice of conducting research, regardless of academic discipline, Leedy will walk you through each step of the process for those who are interested in seriously studying a question of interest. He comprehensively explains the whys and whatevers, from formulating the research question to writing up the final report. Obviously, the author is philosophically interested in seeing that the research method is carried out ethically and conscientiously, and after reading this text the reader would have no reason not to.
Light,R.J. & Pillimer,D.B. (1984). Summing Up - The Science of Reviewing Research. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. [THE AUTHORITY ON RESEARCH REVIEWS] Literature review for its own sake is known as a research or systematic review. If you want to summarize a body of research in a summary statistic, then that's meta-analysis. This text provides an excellent overview of how to synthesize research findings - summarizing the most poignant points. The authors debate the value of "narrative" (qualitative) and "number" (quantitative) approaches to reviewing the literature. Should we pursue "verstehen," or is "effect size" enough? How does script formation affect the way we analyze information? A good adjunct to Creswell.
Litwin, M. S. (1995) How to Measure Survey Reliability and Validity. (#7 of Survey Kit Series) CA: Sage Publications. The science of psychometrics - determining the quality of a survey - is the focus of this how-to text in ensuring your survey will be excellent in every way, from coding, pilot-testing, scaling and scoring surveys to measuring reliability and validity.
Lorig, K., Stewart, A., Ritter,P., Gonzalez,V., Laurent, D., & Lynch, J. (1996). Outcome Measures for Health Education and other Health Care Interventions. CA: Sage Publications. The appendices are the most useful part of this text, which extrapolate from the authors' experiences with the Chronic Disease Management Program. Samples of various health measurement surveys are included with some information about how to use them for evaluating health education programs.
Morgan, S.E., Reichert, T., & Harrison, T.J. (2002). From Numbers to Words. Reporting Statistical Results for the Social Sciences. MA: Allyn & Bacon. A slim text of gentle reminders from three young academics on the proper way to report research statistics. As the authors put it, this is a supplemental text. It really does require a basic understanding of statistics. Perhaps, the saddest commentary is how poorly social science research is reported that the authors had to review some 5,000 research articles to come up with examples of the best that were STILL lacking in some way. Perhaps, the worst example can be found on pp. 24-25 in which I found 4 errors without much effort, in a three-sentence excerpt! And, these were just simple things like inconsistency between text and numbers and percentage totals! More comprehensive coverage for statistical reporting can be found in Lang & Sercic's 1997 excellent annotated guidelines.
Morris, L.L., Fitz-Gibbon, C.T., & Lindheim, E. (1987). How to Measure Performance and Use Tests. #7 of The Program Evaluation Kit, 2nd Edition. CA: Sage Publications. A how-to on the use of measuring performance for program evaluation. From determining appropriateness to constructing your own test instrument, and considering the validity and reliability of any test instrument. An excellent text for those involved with educational programs.
Muraskin, L.D. (1993). Understanding Evaluation: The Way to Better Prevention Programs. U.S. Department of Education: Westat, Inc. While the emphasis is on drug abuse prevention programs, it is really a manual for developing program process/outcome/impact evaluations. Straightforward approach by outlining what questions you want to ask when evaluating the effectiveness of any social service/public health program.
Patton, M.Q. (1987). How to Use Qualitative Methods in Evaluation. #4 of The Program Evaluation Kit, 2nd Edition. A comprehensive how-to on qualitative research methods as fieldwork, observation and depth interviewing, as well as how to analyze qualitative data. Qualitative methods are gaining respectability in research circles as quantitative methods have been found to be inadequate in explaining phenomena that don't necessarily follow linear patterns.
Petitti, D.B. (1994). Meta-Analysis, Decision Analysis, and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis. NY: Oxford University Press. THE DEFINITIVE TEXT ON SYNTHETIC STUDY METHODS. This excellent text provides the foundation with which to understand these three methods that are being currently extensively used in analyzing secondary health data. Don't miss chapter 15 for the author's critique of these three methods.
Pyrczak,F. & Bruce,R.R. (1998). Writing Empirical Research Reports. A Basic Guide for Students of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2nd Edition. CA: Pyrczak Co. A hands-on text on the mechanics of writing up a research report. Excellent guidelines approach to the major issues surrounding the development of a well-written research report.
Rossi, P.H., & Freeman, H.E. (1985). Evaluation. A Systematic Approach. CA: Sage Publications. Good for applying statistics to designing research.
Royse, David (1995). Research Methods in Social Work. 2nd Edition. Chicago: Nelson-Hall Publishers. BEST RESEARCH METHODS BOOK FOR SOCIAL SCIENCE. Takes a very easy-to-understand view on how to conduct research. Excellent chapters on survey research, questionnaire development, how to collect, analyze data and report your findings.
Ruggiero, J.A. (1990). Thinking Sociologically. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. A brief look at social science research. Similar to Hoover's approach.
Salant, P., & Dillman, D.A. (1994). How to Conduct Your Own Survey. NY: John Wiley and Sons. The best book on how to conduct a survey: mail, telephone or face-to-face. Will take you step by step through each type of survey, giving you the pros and cons for each method, and what kinds of errors you should watch out for.
Stecher, B.M., & Davis, W.A. (1987). How to Focus an Evaluation. #2 of the "Program Evaluation Kit" 2nd Edition series. A how-to manual on choosing an appropriate evaluation approach. Covers: Experimental, Goal-oriented, Decision-focused, User-oriented, and Responsive approaches. Excellent descriptions.
Suskie, L.A. (1996). Questionnaire Survey Research - What Works. 2nd Edition. A hands-on manual to conducting survey research, as told from the perspective of an academic institutional researcher. You can tell she has had a lot of experience. Most helpful for those who plan to do research in an academic environment.
Zeisel, H. (1985). Say it With Figures. (6th Edition). NY: Harper & Row. A true classic in how to present data in tabular form. If you plan to present any data, this is a must read.
Zolman, J.F. (1993). Biostatistics. NY: Oxford University Press. Everything you ever wanted to know about ANOVA (analysis of variance), and how to design your research the right way. Contains 100 critiques of biological research projects that could have been done better if they only consulted J.F. Zolman first about proper research design.
Updated: 12/28/2017 R101
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