The Good Research Guide: For Small-Scale Social Research Projects

This third edition of The Good Research Guide continues to provide clear, jargon-free guidance for researchers. The book consists of well presented chapters that provide information regarding social research strategies, methods and approaches to data analysis.

Although useful for experienced researchers it is particularly useful for the novice researcher because of its readability. The reader is able to identify a particular topic and is guided onto further related information on subsequent pages. The disadvantages and advantages of using each research strategy are highlighted throughout the text and summarised at the end of each chapter. A checklist at the end of the chapter is of additional benefit in promoting good practice.

The book provides current information regarding the increasing use of modern technology in research, for example the use of mobile phones, the internet and email to collect data. However, the section regarding consent does not mention the dilemmas encountered with children or people with learning disabilities who may not be able to demonstrate their ability to consent or assent to participate in research. Legally they are not able to consent, but they may be able to demonstrate their capacity to do so.

The analysis of qualitative data is covered well in the book and an emphasis on reflexivity is incorporated into each research strategy. However, the section on statistical analysis assumes that the reader is already acquainted with this subject. This is an area in which, for a novice researcher, the choice of an appropriate test and its application is often anxiety provoking. A brief overview of writing the research report is provided in one chapter, but requires greater input for the novice researcher.

Overall this book is a valuable tool that students who need to conduct small-scale research projects as part of their undergraduate, postgraduate or professional studies would find useful.

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