Research Design

Bibliography of Research Methods TextsACRL IS Research and Scholarship Committee

Research design and methods: a process approach

Bordens, Kenneth, and Bruce Barrington Abbott. 2017. Research Design and Methods: A Process Approach. 10th ed. Dubuque, IA: McGraw-Hill Education. 624p. ISBN: 9781259844744.

A textbook designed for use in research methods courses, this book provides a thorough overview of most aspects of the research process, from developing research questions to choosing a design, and finally analyzing and reporting results. Specific methods and considerations (observation, ethical practice, surveys) are also explained. While not all topics in this broad introduction may be relevant to librarian-researchers, many will, and this book could provide a helpful overview of the research design process in general or serve as a refresher for particular topics of relevance.

– Catherine Fraser Riehle, 2013; Ann Agee, 2017

Creswell, John W.  2014. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. 4th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.  304 p. ISBN: 9781452226095.

This work is the fourth edition of the pioneering study of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research design by leading qualitative research expert, John W. Creswell of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.  Creswell discusses the philosophical assumptions behind the different research methods, gives a literature review, an assessment of the use of theory in research approaches, and also examines the importance of writing and ethical considerations in research design.  This edition contains an extensive discussion of mixed methods research and an emphasis upon worldwide perspectives in research design.  The book is a comprehensive textbook on research design that will benefit librarians seeking an overview of qualitative methods and quantitative methods, and is a practical guide to research principles and basic theoretical assumptions.

– David Oberhelman, 2013

Creswell, John W. 2012. Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research. 4th ed. Boston: Pearson. 672p. ISBN: 0131367390.

Over twice the length of Creswell’s fourth and latest edition of Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, this book covers many of the same topics, from research design to implementation, communication, and evaluation. Also included are descriptions of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, though in this title, readers will find more in-depth treatments in the context of educational research in particular. Key changes to this edition include additions related to ethical issues and more current sample articles. Often appreciated of Creswell’s work, clear and practical writing guides readers through all aspects of the educational research process.

– Catherine Fraser Riehle, 2013

de Vaus, David. 2001. Research Design in Social ResearchThousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 279p. ISBN: 0761953477.

As the title suggests, Research Design in Social Research is a text primarily focused on the importance and specifics of design. De Vaus begins by distinguishing between research design and methodology. Once this is established, he offers definitions of standard terms and concepts, then leads the reader through important types of social science research design: case studies, cross-sectional, experimental, longitudinal, and so on. The author discusses each area of design in terms of tools required, possible issues, and data analysis.

The text is useful to both novice and more advanced researchers. The author provides clear and concise definitions, directions, and examples. Librarians, who are often required to do research, and who are commonly untrained in research design, would do well to consult this book.

– Christopher Hollister, 2006; revised by Catherine Fraser Riehle, 2013

Methods that matter : integrating mixed methods for more effective social science research

Hay, M. Cameron, ed. 2016. Methods That Matter: Integrating Mixed Methods for More Effective Social Science Research. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 440p. ISBN: 9780226328522.

With the increasing acceptance of mixed methods research, Methods That Matter: Integrating Mixed Methods for More Effective Social Science Research is a timely work inviting social scientists to step out of their disciplinary methodcentrism and explore the possibilities of mixed methods knowledge-building. Serving as both editor and contributor, Hay provides a thorough preface describing Methods That Matter and emphasizes its intentional approachability for undergraduates. A mixed methods design enhances the research process because the research problem guides the methodology allowing for both quantitative (deductive) and qualitative (inductive) approaches to be used. The constructive outcome of this methodological blend is scholarly conversations across the disciplines that can potentially influence policymakers. The volume comprises 20 chapters structured in seven parts, authored by researchers of different disciplines who have found both challenges and success using a mixed methods approach. The content delves into the history of scholarly division in the social sciences, different methodologies of the social sciences, the advantages of adapting mixed methods to various social science concepts or methodologies, and the applicability of mixed methods in intervention and policy-driven research.

Penny Hecker, 2017

Return to Bibliography of Research Methods Texts Main Page