Research and Evaluation Bytes

Helen Kara

Helen Kara

Do you do research as part of your job or course? If so, the chances are your time is extremely limited and you struggle to fit in all your commitments. After I wrote my book Research and evaluation for busy practitioners: A time-saving guide, I realised that some people might need help in only one aspect of the research process, and not have time to read the entire book. For example you might have collected all your data but be confused about how to analyse it, or you might know about the mechanics of research from previous experience but need help in managing the process or writing it up.

Another important reason for doing it was to make my work more easily accessible for those who might not be able either to get a copy from a library or to buy the whole book.

So I was delighted when Policy Press agreed to produce a competitively priced selection of e-books, as part of their ‘Bytes’ series, based on some of the key chapters.

The first task was to decide which chapters to include in the e-books. The two chapters from the whole book which received the most positive feedback are the chapters on managing the research process and on writing. The first and last e-books in the series, Managing The Research Process and Writing For Research, are based on these two chapters. Then I decided on Collecting Primary Data and Analysing Data for the other two e-books. Data analysis is where inexperienced researchers often get stuck, because it is usually a solitary activity and always a taxing one. Also, it seemed essential when producing an e-book on data analysis to include one on data collection.

The next job was to rewrite the chapters to an accessible length for the Bytes series, and make sure each one could stand alone, while including as many of the time-saving hints and tips from the whole book as possible. This was surprisingly difficult, even though it was 18 months since I finished writing the original book. I was very grateful for the highly skilled editorial team at Policy Press, whose input was invaluable.

I love the cover designs created by the excellent production team at Policy Press and am very pleased that we were able to include one of Carol Burns’ charming illustrations from the original text in each e-book. And I am absolutely thrilled to be in illustrious company because, at the time of writing, the other Bytes author is no less a person than Professor Danny Dorling, whose work I admire enormously.

Policy Press Bytes are practical, affordable, and easy to digest. I hope one or more of them will be useful for you. And if you have any feedback, we’d love to hear it, either in the comments box below, to me via Twitter, or direct to Policy Press.

Helen Kara

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