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.
All research begins either explicitly or implicitly with the analysis of a problem and, it is hoped, at its critical branching points. By its very nature, the scientific analysis of social problems, especially with an eye to social policy, must be critical since it assesses alternatives against objective criteria and, necessarily, rejects all but one candidate for policy adoption. Critical analysis is in a sense a redundancy—analytic analysis. However, the ascendancy of the romantic in the social services, the flourishing demand for unquestioning belief and self-certification, commands attention to its research, even at the risk of a bleak assessment. Critical analysis engenders the promise of science in society—objectivity, coherence, and social value—in rejection of obedient research ...