Gorard, Stephen. 2003. Quantitative Methods in Social Science. New York: Continuum. 252p. ISBN: 9780826465863.
Committee Member Review
If you are considering undertaking a survey or other quantitative research project, Gorard’s book is an essential guide. Gorard’s main theme is to think carefully about your motives for using quantitative methods, and then plan your project from sampling and survey design through data analysis. The book will be useful to those with some basic statistical knowledge, as well as relative novices. The explanations are written in clear prose, and there are useful examples from real research throughout. Gorard provides a brief, but effective, glossary of statistical terms, as well as a list of references to more detailed treatments of quantitative methods.
Quantitative methods in social science will be of real use in the design phase of any project that makes use of numbers, even simple descriptive statistics. The book is especially strong in explaining the fundamental concepts and principles underlying statistical methods and analysis so that researchers can make better and more informed choices. In an age when software tools make it relatively easy to collect numbers, Gorard’s book is a welcome prescriptive for using numbers in a sound and effective way.Reviewed by Wendy Holliday, March 2006; revised by Rebecca K. Miller, January 2014
Maleske, Robert Thomas. 1995. Foundations for Gathering and Interpreting Behavioral Data: An Introduction to statistics. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Corporation. 464p. ISBN: 0534237428.
COMMITTEE MEMBER REVIEW
The author states that this is her response to other elementary statistics and resource methods textbooks. He faults these books for focusing on statistical analysis as an end in itself. He intends for this work to “help readers understand the process of gathering and interpreting behavioral data” (vii). The author believes that readers will most easily understand information when they can related it with their own experiences, and states that experience in observing everyday people and events, questioning observations, and making interpretations is the only prerequisite for using this book.
The book is divided into three main sections, “Understanding descriptive statistics,” “Understanding inferential statistics,” and “Selecting and interpreting statistical analyses,” with each section containing 3-6 chapters. Sections and chapters begin with verbs to emphasize the use to which information surveyed in the chapter will be covered. Each chapter begins with a list of objectives and concludes with a summary, key terms/concepts, and exercises. The text within each chapter is broken up by the liberal use of headings, graphs, tables and charts. A series of appendices, which includes answers to selected exercises, as well as an index, rounds out this book.Reviewed by Rob Withers, April 2006
Osborne, Jason W. 2008. Best Practices in Quantitative Methods. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications. 608p. ISBN: 1412940658.
Committee Member Review
This collection of best practices in quantitative research methods is intended for graduate level students and researchers. The text, featuring a variety of international academics, includes best practices in measurement, research design, data analysis, quantitative methods and best advanced methods in quantitative methods. The text aims to provide the reader with best practices and, when possible, demonstrate why those practices are deserving of the term ‘best’.Reviewed by Catherine Johnson, Jan. 2009