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Largest encyclopaedia of social science research methods published

15 October 2019

Stack of books

SAGE Research Methods Foundations, one of the most comprehensive resources ever written on social science research methods, has been launched by SAGE Publishing.

Dr Sara Delamont and Professor Paul Atkinson, from the School of Social Sciences, have spent several years working to collate and edit entries on qualitative methods.

Comprised of between three and four million words, the publication includes entries on over 200 social science research methods, along with key concepts, key research studies, and critical biographies of scholars who shaped developments in social research and methodology.

Experts throughout the world have contributed hundreds of entries designed to help young researchers explore and discover concepts, introducing the history, development and debates around major topics in research methods.

The encyclopaedia also features biographical entries, evaluating the lasting contributions of both classic figures and lesser-known researchers whose work has previously gone unrecognised, including female scholars and those of colour.

One such pioneer is Florence Nightingale, included for her use of research and data presentation which led to improved conditions for patients.

Contributions to the project have come from a number of colleagues in the School of Social Sciences, including Dr Robin Smith, Professor Malcolm Williams, Dr Carina Girvan and Professor Bella Dicks.

Dr Sara Delamont said of the project: “We have recruited extraordinarily distinguished, world-leading experts to write the entries, which we are very proud of. There are contributions from early-career researchers, experienced professors and everything in-between, as well as several from our colleagues here in Cardiff.

“This is a project very much grounded in Cardiff, particularly the School of Social Sciences. The School has a strong reputation as a centre of excellence in research methods, having founded the journal Qualitative Research, along with writing many handbooks and textbooks for SAGE in the past.

“I think the most useful skill that both Paul Atkinson and I have been able to bring to this project was an enormously long experience of supervising doctoral students. We have a good understanding of the sorts of questions doctoral students need answered, and I hope this tool will be useful for them.”

Monika Lee, Publisher of SAGE Research Methods said: “We’re thrilled to bring Foundations to the SAGE Research Methods suite. Foundations provides a guided starting point for users who are new to research in general or to a specific method.

SAGE Research Methods Foundations is available online from SAGE Publishing. Qualitative entries are available now. Quantitative entries will follow by Summer 2020, completing the resource.

Dr Delamont and Professor Atkinson introduce the project.

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