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Graduate Research Methods in Social Work by Matthew DeCarlo, Cory Cummings, Kate Agnelli is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Graduate Research Methods in Social Work

Description: Our textbook guides graduate social work students step by step through the research process from conceptualization to dissemination. We center cultural humility, information literacy, pragmatism, and ethics and values as core components of social work research.

September 9, 2021 | Updated: September 29, 2021
Author: Matthew DeCarlo, Cory Cummings, Kate Agnelli

Subject Areas
Social Sciences, Social Work

Original source
pressbooks.rampages.us

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		Attribution 3.0 License. Copyright Yusuke Kamiyamane. Ancillary resource: Resources for faculty
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		Attribution 3.0 License. Copyright Yusuke Kamiyamane. Ancillary resource: Student-to-student resources
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		Attribution 3.0 License. Copyright Yusuke Kamiyamane. Ancillary resource: Faculty-to-faculty resources

Request to review this textbook

Reviews (1) Avg: 4.9 / 5

Leah Douglas

Institution:University of the Fraser ValleyTitle/Position: Associate Professor, and MSW Program Chair Creative Commons License

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

This text is comprehensive and covers all important areas of research methods. This includes some important additional topics, like imposter syndrome, that are frequently discussed in class but rarely mentioned in textbooks. The Table of Contents is clearly laid out, though the chapter/page numbers are not live links (they do not take the reader directly to that chapter), which would be a welcome bonus. The CSWE EPAS index is useful and important to give students context. There is no final or thorough index. The Glossary is written in a very accessible manner for assumedly younger graduate students, with quick and cheeky information at times (e.g. "intuitions: yer gut feelin'").

Comprehensiveness Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

Yes, the content and supplementary material are accurate and unbiased.

Content Accuracy Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

There are no references to specific time periods or popular culture moments that might date the text or content. The content of research methods tends not to shift significantly over time. The arrangement of the text is clear and will easily allow for updates and additions. The pictures and videos will need updating on a regular basis.

Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

Absolutely - as noted previously, this text is very accessible and clear, with a logical progression of ideas. I appreciate the hyper links to wikipedia and other sources (for example, in defining "wicked problems" and highlighting the work of Sam Tsemberis and Housing First initiatives, connected to the section "Social workers as research producers". There is sufficient context for all terms.

Clarity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

I did not notice any inconsistencies in the presentation of terminology and frameworks within the text. The structure of the textbook moves students on to more advanced concepts, after building on the basics.

Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

Yes, I like the flow, modularity, and divisibility of the information as presented. All of the sections are short and subheadings are used plentifully. It would be very easy for students to read one short section, pause, reflect, and ask questions, then carry on to the next.

Modularity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

Yes, the "Chapter Outlines" are clear and concise. Following that, each section has stated learning objectives. Each section is further arranged in digestible small topics with subheadings. The organization, structure, and flow are ideal for learners at any level. The links back to other sections are helpful reminders. For example, section 5.1 on reading results links back to section 3.1 on empirical journal articles, which is handy for learners.

Organization Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

Other than the aforementioned wish for the Table of Content to include direct links to chapters/pages, there are no interface issues identified.

Interface Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

I did not notice any errors in grammar or spelling while reviewing this text.

Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

The content on cultural humility is well presented. The text is reflective of various types of diversity, with no offensive or insensitive language used. The references to diversity and inclusion are completely in line with social work values and ethics. As a Canadian academic, however, I do notice that references to literature or examples from Canada are scant (I found two in the book; perhaps there are others I missed). We have many strong national social work researchers, writers, academics, and practical successes, so I would love to see this strengthened to further appeal to Canadian MSW students.

Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

Yes, I wholeheartedly recommend this book. As the Chair of the MSW program, I have already suggested it to my colleague who will be teaching Research Methods for graduate students this winter (2025). Having a free, accessible, and detailed textbook available to our students will be significantly beneficial. I believe that many graduate students may be initially overwhelmed with the length (page count) of the textbook. Almost 900 pages of reading on research methods may seem daunting at first. However, the text is easy to read and some chapters may not be required in all methods courses. I appreciate how many of the usually unrecognized concepts and terms included in the text (imposter syndrome with regard to research, not reading past the abstract in academic journal articles, etc.) are openly named and acknowledged in this book. For our MSW students in the Canadian province of British Columbia, we will have to add specific supplemental information pertaining to research Indigenous peoples and Indigenous research ethics, beyond the good references to Smith's Decolonizing Methodologies, and the notes in this text about general research with Indigenous peoples. As previously mentioned, I would like to see more references to Canadian examples and research studies, should a revised version be in the works. I am delighted to have found this excellent textbook in the BC Open Campus collection, and will absolutely use it in future years. Thank you to the authors for your hard work and dedication in building this important resource.