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Scientific Inquiry in Social Work

(2 reviews)

Matthew DeCarlo, Radford University

Pub Date: 2018

ISBN 13: 9781975033729

Publisher: Independent

Language: English

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Reviewed by Monica Roth Day, Associate Professor, Social Work, Metropolitan State University (Saint Paul, Minnesota) on 12/26/18

The book provides concrete and clear information on using research as consumers, then developing research as producers of knowledge. It provides a comprehensive review of each step to take to develop a research project from beginning to... read more


Reviewed by Jennifer Wareham, Associate Professor, Wayne State University on 11/30/18

The book provides a comprehensive introduction to research methods from the perspective of the discipline of Social Work. The book borrows heavily from Amy Blackstone’s Principles of Sociological Inquiry – Qualitative and Quantitative Methods open... read more


Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to research
  • Chapter 2: Beginning a research project
  • Chapter 3: Reading and evaluating literature
  • Chapter 4: Conducting a literature review
  • Chapter 5: Ethics in social work research
  • Chapter 6: Linking methods with theory
  • Chapter 7: Design and causality
  • Chapter 8: Creating and refining a research question
  • Chapter 9: Defining and measuring concepts
  • Chapter 10: Sampling
  • Chapter 11: Survey research
  • Chapter 12: Experimental design
  • Chapter 13: Interviews and focus groups
  • Chapter 14: Unobtrusive research: Qualitative and quantitative approaches
  • Chapter 15: Real-world research: Evaluation, single-subjects, and action research
  • Chapter 16: Reporting and reading research

About the Book

As an introductory textbook for social work students studying research methods, this book guides students through the process of creating a research project. Students will learn how to discover a researchable topic that is interesting to them, examine scholarly literature, formulate a proper research question, design a quantitative or qualitative study to answer their question, carry out the design, interpret quantitative or qualitative results, and disseminate their findings to a variety of audiences. Examples are drawn from the author's practice and research experience, as well as topical articles from the literature.

There are ancillary materials available for this book.  

About the Contributors


Matt DeCarlo earned his PhD in social work at Virginia Commonwealth University and is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Radford University. He earned an MSW from George Mason University in 2010 and a BA in Psychology from the College of William and Mary in 2007. His research interests include open educational resources, self-directed Medicaid supports, and basic income. Matt is an Open Textbook Network Campus Leader for Radford University. He is the founder of Open Social Work Education, a non-profit collaborative advancing OER in social work education.