Doing Science: Design, Analysis, and Communication of Scientific Research / Edition 1

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Overview


Doing Science offers a rare compendium of practical advice based on how working scientists pursue their craft. It covers each stage of research, from formulating questions and gathering data to developing experiments and analyzing results and finally to the many ways for presenting results. Drawing on his extensive experience both as a researcher and a research mentor, Ivan Valiela has written a lively and concise survey of everything a beginning scientist needs to know to succeed in the field. He includes chapters on scientific data, statistical methods, and experimental designs, and much of the book is devoted to presenting final results. He gives valuable suggestions for improving scientific writing, for preparing scientific talks, and devotes three chapters to hands-on advice for presenting data in charts, tables, and graphs. Anyone beginning a scientific career, or anyone who advises students in research, will find Doing Science an invaluable source of advice.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Many books cover research design and data analysis, and some discuss communicating findings, but Valiela (Boston U. Marine Program) demonstrates the importance of gathering these topics between two covers. The first half of the book covers the principles of empirical and deductive science, elements of scientific data and tests of questions, statistical analyses, and principles of research design; the second presents invaluable information about writing, speaking, and graphically interpreting scientific findings. The last chapter discusses current perceptions about science, postmodern critiques, and why it is in scientists' interest to educate the public about science and its limitations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher

"[Y]ou will find this book enjoyable and filled with new ideas and reminders of old approaches long forgotten or put aside. The author has done an excellent job of making what he admits is 'dreadfully dull material' into an interesting and thought-provoking read. . . . This book is not a recipe for how to do science, but presents practical advice on how scientists do their work. A significant portion of the book is devoted to describing how to do an effective job of presenting and communicating research results. . . . This book will prove helpful to practicing scientists, as well as anyone starting on the road to scientific inquiry." -- EOS

"I recommend this book as a textbook to courses in universities all over the world."--Photosynthetica

"The last chapter of the book covers perceptions and criticisms of science and presents a summary of why the scientific community is often mistrusted. ... I would urge all readers to start with this chapter because it causes the reader to place the information of Doing Science in context. ... The book is extremely well written ..."--Journal of Environmental Quality

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195134131
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Ivan Valiela is a professor in the Boston University Marine Program at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA.

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Table of Contents

1 Obtaining Scientific Information 3

1.1 Introduction 3

1.2 Empirical Science 5

1.3 Deductive Science 19

2 Elements of Scientific Data and Tests of Questions 33

2.1 Kinds of Date 33

2.2 Accuracyand Precision 36

2.3 Frequency Distributions 37

2.4 Descriptive Statistics 40

2.5 Distributions and Transformations of Data 44

2.6 Tests of Hypotheses 47

3 Statistical Analyses 53

3.1 Analysis of Variance 54

3.2 Regression 64

3.3 Correlation 69

3.4 Analysis of Frequencies 73

3.5 Summary of Statistical Analyses 74

3.6 Transformations of Data 76

4 Principles of Research Design 85

4.1 Desirable Properties of Research Design 85

4.2 Design of Treatments 86

4.3 Design of Layout 90

4.4 Response Design 101

4.5 Sensible Experimental Design 103

5 Communication of Scientific Information: Writing 107

5.1 The Matter of Publication 107

5.2 The Matter of Which Language to Use 112

5.3 Writing Scientific English 118

6 Communicating Scientific Information: The Scientific Paper 139

6.1 Organization of a Scientific Paper 139

6.2 The Life History of a Scientific Paper 150

6.3 Scientific Papers: Important and Changing 159

7 Other Means of Scientific Communication 163

7.1 The Scientific Talk 163

7.2 The Poster Presentation 171

7.3 The Proposal 174

8 Presenting Data in Tables 187

8.1 Why Show Data in Tables? 187

8.2 The Elements of Tables 190

8.3 Layout of Tables 193

8.4 Tables That Need Not Be Tables 195

9 Presenting Data in Figures 199

9.1 Graphical Perception 204

9.2 Types of Figures 205

9.3 Principles of Graphical Representation 225

10 Case Studies of Graphical Data Presentation 235

10.1 Bivariate Graphs 237

10.2Three-Variable Graphs 251

10.3 Histograms 253

10.4 Bar Graphs 258

10.5 Pie Diagrams 264

11 Doing Science in Society 275

11.1 The Profession of Science 275

11.2 Unbiased and Independent Judgment 275

11.3 Validity of Facts 278

11.4 Giving Credit to Others and Sharing Credit 284

11.5 How Widespread Is Questionable Behavior in Science? 284

12 Perceptions and Criticisms of Science 291

12.1 Current Perceptions about Science 291

12.2 Science and Some Modern Critics 308

12.3 Sharpening Perceptions about Science 312

Index 323

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