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Academic & Professional Books  Reference  Career and Professional Development

How to Do Research and How to Be a Researcher

By: Robert Stewart(Author)
272 pages
How to Do Research
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  • How to Do Research ISBN: 9780192868657 Hardback Nov 2022 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
Price: £19.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

There are many textbooks on research methods, plenty of books on popular science, and specialist texts on a whole range of academic fields. However, few bring these together as a framework for a career involving research, and few attempt a practical appraisal of the challenges and opportunities involved in being 'a researcher'. Here, the principles underlying humanity's past and continuing acquisition of knowledge are illustrated across a variety of academic fields, from history to quantum physics – telling stories of clever and inventive people with good ideas, but also of personalities, politics, and power. How to Do Research draws together these strands to provide an informal and concise account of knowledge acquisition in all its guises.

Having set out what research hopes to achieve, and why we are all researchers at heart, early chapters describe the basic principles underlying this – ways of thinking which may date back to the philosophers of the Athenian marketplace but are still powerful influences on the way research is carried out today. Drawing on a broad range of disciplines, Stewart takes the reader well beyond the pure 'scientific method', which might work well enough in physics or chemistry but falls apart in life sciences, let alone humanities. Later chapters consider the realities of carrying out research and the ways in which these continue to shape its progress – researchers and their personalities, their employers, funding, publication, political forces, and power structures.

Written in an accessible and engaging style, How to Do Research is for anyone embarking on a research project or beginning to think about a career involving research, and for those in need of refocusing on why they started research in the first place.


1. Introduction
2. Origin stories
3. God or clockwork? The importance of ignorance
4. Careful observation
5. Ideas under pressure
6. Choosing a solution
7. The ideal and the reality
8. Consensus
9. Designing research - from description to theory-building
10. Designing research - experiments
11. Designing research - alternatives to experiments
12. Designing research - R&D
13. Communication 1 - getting published
14. Communication 2 - getting known
15. Money
16. Power and politics
17. How to be a researcher - some conclusions

Customer Reviews


Rob Stewart has led, taught, and thought about research for over 25 years at Kings College London and the Maudsley NIHR Biomedical Research Centre.

By: Robert Stewart(Author)
272 pages
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