Reporting Research in Psychology: How to Meet Journal Article Reporting Standards

November 3, 2011

Author: Harris Cooper

Edition: Sixth

Publisher: American Psychological Association

Pages: 136

Price: £24.95

ISBN 9781433809163

As a science-based subject, psychology is underpinned by methodologically rigorous research, and this invaluable book not only provides the reader with detailed instructions for maintaining this rigour when writing reports for publication but furnishes the basis for developing research projects to an excellent standard.

Harris Cooper addresses the requirements of the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2010) and does so in a readable and facilitative way, while maintaining the high standard of reporting now required for the best journals.

The content is delivered in an easy-to-read "cookbook" style, using numerous illustrative examples from published psychology papers to highlight their respective strengths and weaknesses.

The clear and direct advice given in the Journal Article Reporting Standards (Jars) in Appendix 1.1 provides a checklist of the important inclusions in any published paper or dissertation/thesis, which readers can use as a guide in their academic writing. In addition, in Appendix 6.1, Cooper considers Meta-Analysis Reporting Standards (Mars), clearly highlighting where this differs from reports using the Jars recommendations.

However, it is the use of real-life examples and logical discussion that makes this title accessible to the novice as well as to more experienced researchers. The book's format takes readers succinctly from the title of a research paper through to the discussion while devoting a chapter to each area, ensuring an in-depth discussion of each. A good example of this approach appears in Chapter 2 concerning consideration of the title of a research paper and how this relates to the importance of literature searching. Similarly, advice on providing enough information to replicate a study is detailed in the Method Section (Chapter 3). These connections are important to make explicit, as they provide a strong rationale for clear and detailed research reporting.

The use of tables and figures throughout to summarise the examples from the published papers gives this book a practical side in terms of helping readers not only to increase their knowledge of academic writing but also to develop research skills.

What is so exciting about this publication is the fact that it will be useful for novices starting their undergraduate psychology programme, and continue to be useful past doctoral level to the early stages of an academic career.

Many undergraduate and postgraduate psychology programmes write their own versions of a dissertation or thesis manual for their students, but this publication is a valuable replacement for that approach, and should be recommended to all psychology programmes.

Who is it for? Undergraduates, postgraduates and early-career academics and researchers in psychology and the social sciences.

Presentation: Practical guidance with illustrative examples, clear and concise.

Would you recommend it?

An essential purchase for anyone who is involved in conducting psychological research or who wants to publish their research.

Recommended

Abnormal and Clinical Psychology: An Introductory Textbook

Author: Paul Bennett

Edition: Third

Publisher: Open University Press/McGraw-Hill Education

Pages: 544

Price: £34.99

ISBN 9780335237463

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