Abelson, R.P. (1995). Statistics as Principled Argument. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. THE DEFINITIVE Text to answer the question, "But, what does it mean?" from a social science research standpoint. After you read this text, you will understand how statistics should be used in the context of research methodology to make acceptable numerical claims. His concept of "ticks, buts, and blobs" clarify the strengths and weaknesses of statistical claims. Some of the concepts covered may require a more than basic understanding of statistical analysis, unless you work in research. An excellent read.
Abramson, J.H. (1994). Making Sense of Data. 2nd Edition. NY:Oxford University Press. A good text for interactive learning courses. Brief explanations are given about major epidemiological concepts that are reinforced by exercises. Answers with explanations are given in following chapters. Really needs a good teacher to make the most of this text. Hard for those who (like me) likes to study concepts in a systematic way. However, does have a good section (at the end) on meta-analytic studies - how to conduct and critique them.
Abramson, J.H. (1992). Survey Methods in Community Medicine. NY: Churchill. Good basic text on public health research methods.
Alpha Center. (1995) Working with Large Insurance Databases: Avoiding and Overcoming the Pitfalls. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. A good guide to analyzing secondary data found in large insurance databases. Not that you would have access to such data unless you work for an insurance company, or a research group - this guide does show that such data are not such a goldmine of usable data. If you are willing to clean it up you may be able to use it for research, but remember - secondary data are still inferior to the data you collect solely for your research.
Alreck, P.L., & Settle, R.B. (1995). The Survey Research Handbook. 2nd Edition. THE BEST COMPREHENSIVE SURVEY RESEARCH TEXT. Everything you ever wanted to know about conducting a survey. Excellent explanations about how to analyze what you've gathered, writing up and presenting your research to those who have sponsored it. An appendix is devoted to the art of conducting a focus group (the best I've seen) as a method of exploratory data gathering before actually doing a survey.
Armenian, H.K., & Shapiro, S. (1998) Epidemiology and Health Services. NY: Oxford University Press. An excellent text on the application of epidemiological principles to health services research. Covers public health surveillance, general population studies, case investigations, case-control methods, randomized controlled trials, screening, and analytic approaches. The final chapter on meta-analysis is excellent.
Austin, M.J. & Associates (1982). Evaluating Your Agency's Programs. CA: Sage Publications. A comprehensive guide to program evaluations. Excellent!
Bailey, D.M. (1991). Research for the Health Professional. A Practical Guide. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company. A hands-on textbook/workbook that will take you step by step through the whole research process. Excellent way to organize your research, thoughts AND notes.
Bauman, K. (1980). Research Methods for Community and Health and Welfare. NY: Oxford University Press. Good research text.
Babbie, E. (1998). The Practice of Social Research. 8th Edition. CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co. THE "BIBLE" OF SOCIAL RESEARCH. Eight editions should tell you it has to be good to last this long. Virtually found on every campus bookstore I've visited (on both coasts and at midwestern universities in-between) for more than one discipline in some universities. Unlike the proliferation of statistics books (different books for different sections in the same university), Babbie provides the philosophical, theoretical and practical basis for conducting social research. If you want to learn about Research, read Babbie. And if you want to conduct research, there is no finer comprehensive text.
Bloom, M., Fischer, J. & Orme, J.G. (1995). Evaluating Practice. Guidelines for the Accountable Professional. (2nd Edition). Are you making a difference in what you are doing? This book offers the research approach known as "single-systems design" in which you can evaluate how effective your interventions are. Written for social workers involved with case management, the concept is applicable to health educators interested in improving their educational programs.
Bourque, L.B., & Fielder, E.P. (1995). How to Conduct Self-Administered and Mail Surveys. (#3 of Survey Kit Series). CA: Sage Publications. Everything you need to know from developing the proper format and questions to processing, editing and coding the responses. Includes all the details surrounding the conduct of mail survey - personnel and cost requirements. Not as simply written as Fink's books, but worth the time you spend reading what they have to say about mail surveys.
Chalmers, I., & Altman, D.G. (Editors) (1995). Systematic Reviews. London, England: BMJ Publishing Group. A systematic review is another name for research review (See review on Light & Pillimer's book). A methods-based text on how to choose what you would include in a systematic review. While favoring clinical trials, related literature such as corrections, letters to the editors and other criticisms of such trials are considered important in a comprehensive synthesis work. Introduces the Cochrane Collaboration, which is a European effort that seeks to collect and disseminate systematic reviews electronically. This is one way such reviews can stay current as our knowledge base constantly changes. A good critique on the limitations of meta-analysis gives this text a balance approach as to what a researcher can expect from systematic reviews.
Cohn, V. (1993). News & Numbers. A Guide to Reporting Statistical Claims and Controversies in Health and Other Fields. IA: Iowa State University Press. An excellent guide to developing research designs that will withstand the best journalists looking for a good story. Pointers on how research should be critiqued. If you can answer all the questions posed in Chapter 5 you can be sure you are conducting excellent research.
Creswell, J.W. (1994). Research Design: Qualitative & Quantitative Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. THE BEST BASIC TEXT FOR UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH METHODOLOGY. Defines the two basic approaches to research design: qualitative and quantitative. It's obvious the author favors qualitative over quantitative, but does a good job in presenting both approaches. The dichotomy reflects the issues of process (qualitative) vs. outcome (quantitative), or means vs. ends; or, can you say anything objective without the use of numbers? While qualitative research is purer research in the sense that knowledge grows from learning through the research process, quantitative research seeks to build on the work of others, thus, the sense of contributing to an already existing body of knowledge. FYI-existing scientific research is quantitative-based and its elitist advocates would view qualitative research as merely anecdotal.
Crombie, I.K. with Davies, H.T.O. (1996). Research in Health Care. NY: John Wiley & Sons. While most of the cited research is based on Britain healthcare delivery system, the authors have managed to provide a universal perspective to correct health research methodology. EXCELLENT. Last couple of chapters on data analysis and how to report what you find are great. You have to love a book that says, "Basically the computer is an idiot which can count and process data with incredible speed." (p. 235.)
Fink, A. How to Ask Survey Questions. (#2 of Survey Kit Series). (1995). CA: Sage Publications. Did you know that surveys are used mainly to measure attitudes? Do you want categorical, ordinal or numerical data? How valid is your survey? How to ask questions that will get to the heart of the matter.
Fink, A. The Survey Handbook. (#1 of Survey Kit Series). (1995). CA: Sage Publications. Covers what a survey as a research instrument is all about. Provides introductions to other books in this series. Good sections on how to analyze open-ended questions and how to develop a plan for conducting a survey, and what to consider in terms of costs and resources.
Fink, A. How to Design Surveys. (#5 of Survey Kit Series). (1995). CA: Sage Publications. A must-read-first text if you are planning a survey. Are you planning a descriptive or experimental survey? Are you going to describe, compare, or predict? Provides a classification of survey designs,examples and checklists throughout.
Fink, A. How to Sample in Surveys. (#6 of Survey Kit Series). (1995). CA: Sage Publications. How you pick your study sample will affect your ability to generalize. Offers simple explanations on calculating sample size, response rate, inclusion/exclusion criteria, and various methods of sampling (simple random, stratified, systematic, cluster, convenience snowball, quota), and using focus groups.
Fink, A. How to Analyze Survey Data. (#8 of Survey Kit Series). (1995). CA: Sage Publications. A simple how-to text on analyzing survey data, using various types of measurement scales (nominal, ordinal, numerical), choosing an appropriate statistical method, determining relationships or correlation. Excellent explanation of how to use confidence intervals.
Fink, A. How to Report on Surveys. (#9 of Survey Kit Series). (1995). CA: Sage Publications. How to make the most of the data you've spent so hard collecting and analyzing. Shows the best way to present data in tabular and chart forms, how to make oral presentations of your results and how to say-what-mean and mean-what-you-found on paper.
Fitz-Gibbon, C.T., & Morris, L.L. (1987). How to Design a Program Evaluation. #3 of The Program Evaluation Kit, 2nd Edition. CA: Sage Publications. A how-to on designing evaluation studies. Covers Control Group, Time Series and Before-After designs. An excellent chapter on randomizing your population using the HRD (handy randomizing deck) technique.
Fowler, Jr., F.J. (1995). Improving Survey Questions. CA: Sage Publications. A follow-up text to his 1993 text on survey research methods. A systematic overview of how to improve questions used to elicit information. Most useful advice - an information sheet summarizing what your research project is all about.
Fowler, Jr., F.J. (1993). Survey Research Methods. CA: Sage Publications. [THE BEST BASIC SURVEY RESEARCH TEXT] Covers everything you need to know about doing this kind of research. While comprehensive in scope, other texts as Alreck & Settle, and Salant & Dillman, and The Survey Kit cover the same topics in greater depth and are probably better from a how-to perspective. Nevertheless, chapters 9-11 covering topics such as ethical considerations, methodological documentation and survey error are a bonus since such areas are usually covered only in passing in other texts.
Freed, M.N., Ryan, J.M., & Kess, R.K. (1991). Handbook of Statistical Procedures and Their Computer Applications to Education and the Behavioral Sciences. NY: American Council on Education, Macmillan Publishing Company. This excellent text integrates research theory with statistical techniques. Explains how research questions should be framed and how to answer them with statistical procedures. Provides summaries of research designs, statistical procedures, and sampling techniques. The second half of the text offers a resource listing of existing computer packages that can used in analyzing data and then concentrates on how to compute the most common statistical procedures in social science research with SAS, SYSTAT, SPSS-X, and Minitab. This is a must-own reference book is a true handbook in every sense of the word.
Friedman, B.D. (1998). The Research Tool Kit. Putting It All Together. CA: Brooks/Coles Publishing Co. A workbook approach to conducting and writing up research. By using the author's own research into homelessness, you will get an idea of how to best approach the writing up of what you are doing. Excellent book to help you organize the writing of your thesis. The explanation of "cake" as a dependent variable is the best I've read for explaining independent and independent variables.
Gardner, M.J., & Altman, D.G. (1989). Statistics with Confidence - Confidence Intervals and Statistical Guidelines. London: British Medical Journal. A good text on the use of confidence intervals with various statistical procedures, instead of just citing the p value in reporting research results. Two excellent chapters: "Statistical guidelines for contributors to medical journals" - what to look for in the reporting of medical research, and "Use of check lists in assessing the statistical content of medical studies" offers a peer-review approach to looking at what an excellent research paper would include, from design to statistical analysis.
Gronlund, N.E. (1993). How to Make Achievement Tests and Assessments. Fifth Edition. A basic how-to book in developing valid and reliable tests and how to use tests to assess success in education. Good chapter on how to evaluate your test instrument for reliability and how to report on test results.
Henerson, M.E., Morris, L.L., & Fitz-Gibbons, C.T. (1987). How to Measure Attitudes. #6 of The Program Evaluation Kit, 2nd Edition. CA: Sage Publications. A how-to on measuring attitude changes that may result from program participation. Covers such various approaches as: self-reporting, report of others, sociometric procedures, and using existing program records. Sections on using existing measures and how to create your own. An excellent chapter on the issue of validity and reliability of measures.
Herman, J.L., Morris, L.L., & Fitz-Gibbons,C.T. (1987). Evaluator's Handbook. #1 of the "Program Evaluation Kit" 2nd Edition series. An excellent how-to book on how to conduct evaluation research. Using a work-sheet approach, authors walk the reader through the entire process of formative and summative evaluations.
Hoover, K.R. (1988). The Elements of Social Scientific Thinking. NY: St. Martin's Press. A stylistic approach to defining research components.
Isaac, S. & Michael, W.B. (1990). Handbook in Research and Evaluation. San Diego, CA: EDITS Publishers. Good overview of applied statistics and research methods for the social sciences.
Jackson, S.L. (2012). Research Methods and Statistics: A Critical Thinking Approach. 4th Edition. Wadsworth Cengage Publishing. A very good textbook that covers the various methods used by research today and has several chapters about the proper use of statistics in research.
Kelley, D. Lynn (1999). Measurement Made Accessible. A Research Approach Using Qualitative, Quantitative, & Quality Improvement Methods CA:Mayfield Publishing. A-READ-ME-FIRST BOOK ABOUT RESEARCH. An excellent easy-to-understand approach to both ways of conducting research. Whether you like to collect word-based or numbers-based data, this insightful text provides the foundation for using both. If you want a simple to understand book about research, start with this one.
Kosecoff, J., & Fink, A. (1982). Evaluation Basics. A Practitioner's Guide. CA: Sage Publications. Excellent for research design.
PUBLISHED ON THE WEB: SEPTEMBER 1, 1999; February 23, 2001
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