Ten Books about Research for a Deserted Island
A colleague at the University of Chicago is planning to teach a summer course on survey methods in North Korea. He asked a large group of researchers who belong to AAPOR (the American Association of Public Opinion Research) for recommendations on 10 books to bring that he could leave in the library.
We get similar questions from clients and research groups who want to have a small library of essential books and reference works on research methods for their organizations. Here are ten culled from our list that we often suggest, and from the list that others nominated as well:
- Survey Methodology, by Robert Groves and others
- Sampling: Design and Analysis, by Sharon Lohr
- The Psychology of Survey Response, by Roger Tourangeau and others
- Statistics for Real Life Sample Surveys: Non-Simple-Random Samples and Weighted Data, by Sergey Dorofeev and Peter Grant
- The Art Of Asking Questions, by Stanley Payne
- Asking Questions: The Definitive Guide to Questionnaire Design – For Market Research, Political Polls, and Social and Health Questionnaires, by Norman Bradburn and others
- Handbook of Survey Research, edited by Peter Marsden and James Wright
- Internet, Mail, and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method, by Don Dillman and others
- How to Lie With Statistics, by Darrell Huff
- The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, by Edward Tufte
All of these books are valuable not because they give definitive answers about how to execute research projects, but because they outline essential theoretical issues that underlie every research effort. If you are not thinking about these issues at every step in a project, from design, to execution, to analysis, and presentation, then chances are your research is less than what it should and could be.
—Joe Hopper, Ph.D.