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.

Introductory Principles of Social Work Research

Introductory Principles of Social Work Research

Bruce A. Thyer

The scientific approach to unsolved problems is the only one which contains any hope of learning to deal with the unknown.

—Bertha Capen Reynolds (1942, p. 20)

An emphasis on the value of scientific research has always characterized professional social work education and practice. Indeed, this emphasis is one of the hallmarks that distinguishes genuinely “professional” services from other forms of private/public philanthropy and charity and the provision of social care motivated by religious, familial, altruistic, or philosophical reasons. In the history of social work in North America and Great Britain, as well as in other European nations, the system of poor laws and other relatively unsystematic attempts to care for the destitute gave ...

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