The Handbook of Social Work Research Methods represents an area that we have several other publications coming out and a market we actively reach. In addition, Bruce Thyer is the editor of the journal Research in Social Work Practice and expressed interest in updating the book along with the other two candidates. In the field of social work, qualitative research is starting to gain more prominence as are mixed methods and various issues regarding race, ethnicity and gender. These changes in the field will be reflected and updated in the second edition of the handbook. It will also contain more on meta analysis, designs to evaluate treatment and will provide more support to help students harness the power of the Internet. The original mission of the handbook was to bring together leading scholars to write about research methods in social work. The second edition will stay true to this mission but will also attempt to be more student friendly and will be offered in a paperback edition. We will also make a greater effort to promote the book as a textbook, as we will do with the other two handbooks.

Randomized Controlled Experiments

Randomized Controlled Experiments

Ram A. Cnaan Stephen J. Tripodi

Science is concerned with understanding variability to nature, statistics is concerned with making decisions about nature in the presence of variability, and experimental design is concerned with reducing and controlling variability in ways that make statistical theory applicable to decisions made about nature.

—Winer, Brown, and Michels (1991, p. 1)

I was struck by the power of this novel technique [experimentation] to cut through the clouds of confusing correlations that make the inference of causality so hazardous…. With experimental data, one could state with measurable confidence whether a particular public policy affected a particular outcome. I have never quite lost my sense of wonder at this amazing fact.

—Orr (1999, p. xi)

The ...

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