Bibliography of Research Methods TextsACRL IS Research and Scholarship Committee

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Brinkmann, Svend, and Kvale, Steinar. 2015. Interviews: Learning the Craft of Qualitative Research Interviewing. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. 405p. ISBN: 9781452275727.  

Svend Brinkmann, the late Steinar Kvale’s colleague and mentee, takes over as lead author in this third edition of Interviews: An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing. Brinkmann maintains the two-part structure of earlier editions, Part I: Introduction to Interview Research and Part II: Seven Stages of an Interview Investigation. There are 17 relevant and comprehensive chapters contained in this two part structure. In Part I which is more conceptual and theoretical, the reader will find interview concepts ranging from epistemological considerations to ethical issues to a new chapter discussing the important aspects of context that undergird the qualitative research interview. In Part II, the content is more practical and its scope includes designing an interview study, conducting an interview, transcribing interviews, interview variations, and various approaches to interview analyses. New to the third edition are discussion boxes to expand a chapter’s discussion, revised information germane to the unique positions of interviewer and interviewee, as well as updated information emerging from the expanding field of qualitative interviewing.

– Penny Hecker, 2017

Focus group research

Carey, Martha Ann, and Jo-Ellen Asbury. 2012. Focus Group Research. 1st ed. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press. 118p. ISBN: 9781611322569.

A succinct text, this book gives a brief overview of the process of conducting focus groups from beginning to end. Special attention is devoted to group dynamics, one of the more unique factors of focus group research, and how to recognize and ameliorate situations in which those dynamics may interfere with results. Readers are also given guidance on considerations of ethics and rigor throughout all stages of the research process. While too brief to include much detail on any one aspect, this book makes for a quick and easy introduction to focus group research. Intended audience: “researchers who have some familiarity with qualitative research methods but may be new to focus group research” (p. 13) as well as students in graduate studies.

– Liz McGlynn Bellamy, 2017

Cross-cultural interviewing feminist experiences and reflections

Griffin, Gabriele, ed. 2016. Cross-Cultural Interviewing: Feminist Experiences and Reflections. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 242p. ISBN: 9781138909410

Gabriele Griffin, a professor of Gender Studies at Uppsala University, Sweden, both edits and contributes to Cross-Cultural Interviewing: Feminist Experiences and Reflections. This volume was created as a result of working with PhD students regarding methodological questions in their dissertations. Learning the nuances of cross-cultural interviewing was significant as the students would be involved in global fieldwork. The chapter authors, representing different disciplines and nationalities, recount their experiences conducting cross-, inter-, and intra-national interviews.

The volume is a collection of case studies totalling 13 chapters organized in four parts: “Cross-cultural interviewing,” “Interviewing in another culture: managing difference,” “Intra-cultural interviewing: dealing with hard-to-reach participants,” and “The vicissitudes of interviewing ‘the same.'” Aptly named, the chapters within these parts discuss unexpected situations for the researchers, a learning curve for women interviewing women in a cross-cultural context. The collection illuminates the challenges of differences and sameness between interviewer and subject in feminist interviewing. Its honesty of experience makes it beneficial to scholars interested in qualitative research interviewing.

– Penny Hecker, 2017

Josselson, Ruthellen. 2013. Interviewing for Qualitative Inquiry: A Relational Approach. New York: Guildford Press. 206 p. ISBN: 1462510000.

Perfect for those new to research interviewing, this simple, easy to follow text guides the reader through the entire interview study process. Each step is illustrated with excerpts from actual interviews on diverse topics. Readers learn how to develop questions that elicit meaningful narratives and develop skills for empathic listening and response. Josselson, who is the cofounder of the Society for Qualitative Inquiry and has taught interview research workshops all over the world, provides annotated examples of good and bad interviews, along with a chapter on interviewing dos and don’ts. Interview aids, follow up questions and a sample consent form are especially helpful. The interviewer/interviewee relationship is a major emphasis of the text and the reader learns to balance human connection with scientific inquiry.

– April Hines, 2013

King, Nigel, and Horrocks, Christine. 2010. Interviews in Qualitative Research. Los Angeles: Sage. 248p. ISBN: 1412912571.

Written in a clear concise style, Interviews in Qualitative Research speaks to a broad range of disciplines including the social, educational and health sciences. With a focus on phenomenological and narrative interview forms, this guide offers a great deal of real-world advice and examples. The importance of philosophical and ethical approaches to the interview process is stressed, and a chapter on the thematic analysis of interview data is especially helpful to researchers. The authors discuss “key debates in philosophy and theory underlying interview methods” as well as the most effective methods to designing and carrying out interviews. Information on special requirements of online interviewing is particularly relevant, including a section on using Skype (video chat) for remote interviews.

– April Hines, 2013

Focus group methodology : principles and practices

Liamputtong, Pranee. 2011. Focus Group Methodology: Principles and Practice. 1st ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. 213p. ISBN: 9781847879080.

Contrasting with the brief primer to focus groups written by Carey and Asbury, this book goes into depth and provides clear and specific guidance for those interested in this methodology. It discusses everything from the appropriate number of participants to have in a group, to best practices for compensation, to characteristics of a successful moderator, to types of questions to ask during focus groups. Chapter two, “Theory and Ethics,” provides a strong theoretical framework for conducting focus groups and should be read by anyone considering them as a research methodology. Special focus is given to cross-cultural and virtual focus group research. Index, references, and further readings all provide additional ways to interact in depth with this text and subject.

– Liz McGlynn Bellamy, 2017

Seidman, Irving. 2013. Interviewing as Qualitative Research: A Guide for Researchers in Education and the Social Sciences. New York: Teachers College Press. 178p. ISBN: 9780807754047.

Written for doctoral candidates in search of a methodology, experienced researchers new to in-depth interviewing, and professors looking for a text that connects methods and techniques with qualitative research; the step-by-step approach of this guide makes it useful for individuals and classes. This guide focuses on phenomenological interviewing, which “combines life-history interviewing…and focused, in-depth interviewing informed by assumptions drawn from phenomenology …”. This approach involves interviewers using primarily open-ended questions and building upon participant’s responses to reconstruct his/her experience. The author discusses when interviewing is appropriate, how to select and contact participants, and interpreting and sharing interview material. The fourth edition has been completely updated and expanded to include important new material on ethical issues, long-distance interviewing, computer-assisted data analysis, and more.

– Terry Taylor, 2006; revised by April Hines, 2013

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