- Key Readings
Selecting Research Methods provides advice from prominent social scientists concerning the most crucial steps for planning and undertaking meaningful research: selecting the methods to be used. Contributors to the collection address methodological choices in four stages: design, sampling, coding and measurement, and analysis. The four volumes provide an integrated approach to methodological choice in two ways. First, the contributions range from the early decisions about design options through the concluding choices about analyzing, interpreting, and presenting results. Second, the collection is integrated because it addresses the needs of projects that collect qualitative evidence, quantitative data, or both.
Volume 1 concerns design choice; the articles focus on selecting designs that are effective for answering research questions and achieving the goals of the researcher.
Volume 2 is on sampling ...
The field of research methods in the social sciences is richly endowed with excellent texts and reference works. This makes it relatively easy for a researcher to look up how to employ a particular method – surveys or interviews or regression analysis or grounded theory, and so on. We are less richly endowed with works that help us decide which methods to use, be they cluster sampling, cognitive interviews, multilevel modeling, participant observation, and so on. Which method to use is arguably a more important question than how to use the method. “Which method?” is, at least, a necessary prior question. One cannot look up how to do something until one has decided what that something is.
Planning a research project requires the researcher ...