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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Martha Sleutel, MSN, CNS (Angelo State University)
Description: This is a useful resource for the beginning research student. Using clear, easy to understand descriptions, this book walks the reader through each step of the research process.
Purpose: The authors accurately describe this book as a practical guide to the research process. Their objective is to provide the information necessary for a beginning researcher to plan, organize, and complete a scientific study. While this book could not be the sole reference for a student researcher, it concisely and accurately explains each step of the process.
Audience: The target audience is graduate students embarking on a research project or learning to critique professional literature. Additionally, it would be well suited for baccalaureate students as a reference to aid in understanding scientific studies.
Features: It is organized sequentially to follow the steps of a research project. It begins with a basic review of the purpose of research and powerfully but simply describes ethical and legal issues. Each short chapter is easy to read, covering the basics of design, sampling, measurement, variables, and data analysis. Most topics, such as measurement and ethical issues, include a surprising level of detail while remaining clear and brief. In contrast, the chapter on qualitative research approaches was quite limited and would prove inadequate as a guide for a qualitative research project.
Assessment: This book achieves the authors' goal of reducing a complex project into simple steps. The information in each step is distilled down to its essence without losing essential content. It cannot compare with comprehensive references on research, as it does not provide as much detail as Polit and Hungler's Nursing Research: Principles and Methods (Lippincott-Raven, 1995) for example, which is also aimed at the same level of student. However, this text would be a useful and helpful reference for beginning students.