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    Book Review: Creative Research Methods in the Social Sciences: A Practical Guide

Book Review: Creative Research Methods in the Social Sciences: A Practical Guide

Helen Kara’s new book explores the messy realities of research and emerging, creative opportunities. Sarah Lewthwaite finds Creative Research Methods in the Social Sciences a reflexive, dialogic book that demands active reading. As a creative text for students and teachers, the book is designed to enable and support, rather than prescribe. The book looks at the breadth of innovative […]

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    Why perpetuate a 300-year-old anachronism? Reincarnating the research article into a ‘living document’.

Why perpetuate a 300-year-old anachronism? Reincarnating the research article into a ‘living document’.

Online publication provides us with new freedom to update, amend and extend the research article as we know it. Daniel Shanahan presents a vision of the evolution of the article beyond the limits of the printed page. Creating a living document for a single research project, updated in real time, would lead to it being evaluated based on the […]

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    How long does a scientific paper need to be? Length limits can have a detrimental effect on scientific reporting.

How long does a scientific paper need to be? Length limits can have a detrimental effect on scientific reporting.

In principle, length limits should help with the accessibility and readability of a scientific paper. But in practice these limits often achieve the opposite effect. Now that journals are becoming online-only, Dorothy Bishop argues, lengths limits are far less relevant. Yes, we should encourage authors to be succinct, but not so succinct that scientific communication is compromised.

There was an interesting exchange a […]

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    Book Review: Ethnography for the Internet: Embedded, Embodied and Everyday

Book Review: Ethnography for the Internet: Embedded, Embodied and Everyday

Ethnographers of contemporary Internet-infused societies consequently find themselves facing serious methodological dilemmas: where should they go, what should they do there and how can they acquire robust knowledge about what people do in, through and with the internet? Casey Brienza thinks Ethnography for the Internet is both a challenging and magisterial book by a scholar working at the fullest extent of […]

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    Book Review: Language in Mind: An Introduction to Psycholinguistics.

Book Review: Language in Mind: An Introduction to Psycholinguistics.

Language in Mind highlights the topics that capture the imagination of researchers and students alike, for example, deaf communities, poetry, jokes, misutterances, and Alzheimer’s disease. It would be a joy to teach using this book, writes Gwyneth Sutherlin.

This review originally appeared on LSE Review of Books.

Language in Mind: An Introduction to Psycholinguistics. Julie Sedivy. Sinauer Associates Inc.,U.S. 2014.

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Taking the malapropism mantle […]

March 15th, 2015|Book Reviews|0 Comments|
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    Qualitative and quantitative research are fundamentally distinct and differences are paramount to the social sciences

Qualitative and quantitative research are fundamentally distinct and differences are paramount to the social sciences

Matt Vidal calls for clear distinctions to be made between qualitative and quantitative research. Using as an example the impartial data generated by surveys, Vidal argues that such quantitative data are fundamentally important, but incomplete. Data based on methods of prolonged engagement with respondents are qualitative, also important, but incomplete. Both are united in their goal of advancing knowledge and […]

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    Book Review: Methodological Practices in Social Movement Research edited by Donatella della Porta

Book Review: Methodological Practices in Social Movement Research edited by Donatella della Porta

This collection aims to offer a practical, how-to approach to researching social movement studies, with each author writing on a method they have used extensively in their own work. Leonardo Custódio is impressed by the book’s invitation to researchers to reflect about different approaches to studying mass demonstrations, protests, and other forms of collective action for socioeconomic and political change.

This piece originally appeared on LSE […]

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    Stand Up and Be Counted: Why social science should stop using the qualitative/quantitative dichotomy

Stand Up and Be Counted: Why social science should stop using the qualitative/quantitative dichotomy

Qualitative and quantitative research methods have long been asserted as distinctly separate, but to what end? Howard Aldrich argues the simple dichotomy fails to account for the breadth of collection and analysis techniques currently in use. But institutional norms and practices keep alive the implicit message that non-statistical approaches are somehow less rigorous than statistical ones.

Over the past year, I’ve met with many doctoral […]

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    Everyday webpages as scholarly source material: Interrogating the archived UK Web.

Everyday webpages as scholarly source material: Interrogating the archived UK Web.

With the advances in web analysis, Adam Crymble hails the opportunity for historians to turn to the Internet as a rich source in itself. But are historians trained to take advantage of this new opportunity? Corpus linguistics, data manipulation, clustering algorithms, and distant reading will be valuable skills for dealing with this new body of historical data.

The second talk […]

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    Replication is not about making or breaking careers: it is about providing an opportunity to move science forward.

Replication is not about making or breaking careers: it is about providing an opportunity to move science forward.

Replication and closer scrutiny of published findings are generally welcome in the scientific community, but questions have been raised over how replication attempts are being reported. Whilst there are certainly arguments for more friendly and cooperative tones to scientific debate, Dorothy Bishop welcomes this next chapter in rigorous debate. Reputation and career prospects will, at the end of the day, […]

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    How much data do you need? Like documentary film-making, research requires far greater coverage than the final cut.

How much data do you need? Like documentary film-making, research requires far greater coverage than the final cut.

It can be difficult to determine how much data is required for research analysis. Kerim Friedman compares the process to documentary film-making where they typically shoot sixty times the amount that makes the final cut. The concept of a “shooting ratio” underlines the necessity of collecting a lot of data in order to find that one choice nugget upon which hinges the analysis. But […]

Book Review: Doing Research in the Real World by David E. Gray

In this book David E. Gray introduces readers to the essential aspects of the research process, covering topics ranging from best approaches to the design of appropriate research tools, to issues of data collection, analysis, and writing up. The author skilfully explains complex and daunting concepts in an unpretentious manner that simultaneously demystifies the research process and illuminates the complexity and messiness of actual research, […]

Book Review: Political Science Research Methods: Exploring America at a Crossroads by Cal Clark

With this textbook, Cal Clark aims to provide clear descriptions of the major statistical techniques used in political and social science research for undergraduate students. This is a rewarding read that flows coherently from concepts recognizable to most schoolchildren up to complex statistical techniques without losing its focus, finds Nicholas Thomason. This originally appeared on LSE Review of Books. Political Science Research Methods: Exploring America at […]

Book Review: An Introduction to Scientific Research Methods in Geography and Environmental Studies

This updated and extended Second Edition of An Introduction to Scientific Research Methods in Geography and Environmental Studies aims to provide a broad and integrative introduction to the conduct and interpretation of scientific research in geography. This new edition includes new material on GPS and map projections, as well as an expanded chapter on scientific communication. Reviewed by Yves Laberge. An Introduction to […]

January 5th, 2014|Book Reviews|1 Comment|

Impact-monitoring research leads to clear EU policy recommendations to improve services for children of prisoners.

In England and Wales there are an estimated 200,000 children with a parent in prison, and on any given day, an estimated 800,000 children have a parent in prison in the European Union. The COPING team argue that this area has been in need of academic research, and explain how their focus on maintaining and monitoring impact has yielded some […]

Book Review: Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook

In the fourth edition of his best-selling textbook, David Silverman provides a step-by-step guide to planning and conducting qualitative research. Using real examples from real postgraduate students, the book aims to make it easy to link theory to methods and shows how to move from understanding the principles of qualitative research to doing it yourself. This book will be of great use to […]

Of Method and Freedom: How to re-shape the restrictive dynamic between researcher and participant.

The ever more clinical ways of extracting and analysing ‘data’ from human research ‘subjects’ are cause for concern, not only for ethical reasons, but also because the process itself limits insight. Shamser Sinha and Les Back argue for a form of research that shifts the ordering of dialogue, where researchers can make observations about participants’ personal worlds and participants can shed light […]

Book Review: Constructing Research Questions: Doing Interesting Research

Traditional textbooks on research methods tend to ignore, or gloss over, how research questions are constructed. In this text, Mats Alvesson & Jorgen Sandberg seek to challenge researchers to look past the easy or obvious choices and create more interesting and rewarding questions. Joanna Lenihan feels that this is potentially a valuable and practical tool for researchers and could be integrated into […]

Book Review: The Future of Social Movement Research: Dynamics, Mechanisms, and Processes

Are the dynamics of contention changing? This is the question confronted by the contributors of this volume. The answers, arriving at a time of extraordinary worldwide turmoil, aim not only to provide a wide-ranging and varied understanding of how social movements arise and persist, but also engender unanswered questions, pointing to new theoretical strands and fields of research. The Future […]

October 6th, 2013|Book Reviews|1 Comment|
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