The third edition of Evaluating Research by Francis C. Dane and Elliot Carhart provides students with the skills to read and evaluate research studies. Aimed at courses where it is more important for students to develop an understanding of methods, rather than conduct their own research, this book covers all aspects of reading social, behavioral, and health science research from the basics, such as the structure of reports and accessing research, as well as overviews of the main types of research methods. The authors emphasize critical reading skills to enable students to become experts in evaluating research, so students can decide whether to incorporate that research into their future professional activities.
Each chapter includes an overview at the beginning and exercises at the end to reinforce the content learned. Starting from the basic principles of why we do research, the book moves readers through the practicalities of finding studies to the principles of the scientific method and how to break down and analyze research reports. New to the third edition, Understanding Checks placed throughout each chapter help students cement their learning. The organization of the book is now more logical, with a new chapter on accessing research up front and ending with a chapter on statistical analyses. New research examples throughout, including such topical examples as mindfulness, college attendance, and bias in healthcare, help students see the relevance of research in their lives.
The pedagogy of the Third Edition has been improved with the inclusion of Understanding Checks, which students can use to assess their readiness to move to the next section within chapters. The end-of-chapter exercises remain so students can consolidate their accomplishment of learning objectives at the chapter level. Also new are marginal definitions, brief reminders of the major terms so that students can easily look back a page or two should they need to refresh their understanding of a term. The glossary remains for those times when a more detailed refresher is desired.
The entire edition is focused more intentionally and explicitly on evidence-based practice, on critical thinking, and on dealing with common misperceptions about research. Throughout the book more recent examples of research have been added, but the classic references have not been removed for those interested in the more historical aspects of research methods.
The organization has been revised, too, for enhanced understanding. We have moved the discussion of ethics to the first chapter and tied ethical considerations more closely to consuming research. Accessing research articles has received its own chapter, and content analysis has been distributed to the non-experimental research chapter and the qualitative research chapter as appropriate. The qualitative chapter has been considerably expanded, as the non-experimental methods chapter.