About The Book

Research in Communication Sciences and Disorders: Methods for Systematic Inquiry, Fourth Edition is a comprehensive yet comprehendible text meant for instructors and students of research methods in the field of communication sciences and disorders. This forward-thinking book reflects the movement toward evidence-based practice in speech-language pathology and audiology.

The authors ensure that the concepts associated with evidence-based practice are integrated throughout the chapters. Rather than treating empirical research and searching for clinical evidence as separate topics, this text presents both as different applications of a process of scientific inquiry. The order of the chapters reflects the steps a researcher or clinician might complete when conducting an investigation. Also included are features that help students be more active in learning the material. Each chapter has a set of review questions or case scenarios that can be used as homework, as probe questions in class, or as a basis for group activities. In addition, the authors provide lists of supplemental readings from the research literature in the field.

New to the Fourth Edition

  • New author: Jaimie L. Gilbert for an enhanced audiology perspective
  • New chapter: Writing a Literature Review
  • Reorganized for better flow of information
  • Various new and updated references to reflect the current state of research
  • Additional illustrations and tables
  • Expanded material on critical appraisal

About The Authors

Lauren K. Nelson, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an associate professor and head of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). Since coming to UNI in 1990, she has taught courses in articulation and phonological disorders, child language disorders, phonetics, prevention of communication disorders, and research methods. Her educational background includes a BS degree from Northern Michigan University and an MA degree from Central Michigan University. After working for 2 years in an Iowa area education agency, she returned to school and completed her PhD studies at Memphis State University (now University of Memphis). She has published articles in several professional journals, including the Journal of Applied PsycholinguisticsJournal of Speech and Hearing DisordersJournal of Speech and Hearing ResearchSeminars in Speech and Language, and Topics in Language Disorders.

Jaimie L. Gilbert, PhD, CCC-A, is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Northern Iowa. She received a BA in Communicative Disorders and in Linguistics from the University of Wisconsin and an MA and a PhD in Speech and Hearing Sciences (Audiology) from the University of Illinois. Dr. Gilbert completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University. Her research interests include auditory-visual integration and talker variation in speech perception.

Table Of Contents


Chapter 1. Empirical and Nonempirical Research: An Overview
Systematic Inquiry
Some Roles for Research
Types of Research
Getting Started with Research
Review Questions
Appendix 1–1. Tips for Reading a Research Article

Chapter 2. Ethical Considerations
Protection of Human Participants
Special Protections
Historical Perspective
Institutional Review Boards
Research Integrity
Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
Credit for Intellectual Effort
Attribution of Ideas
Accuracy in Reporting Information
Data Management
Confidentiality and Privacy
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
Review Questions
Learning Activities
Appendix 2–1. Research Scenario

Chapter 3. Identifying and Formulating Research Questions
Identifying Important Questions
Formulating Research Questions
Ways to Formulate a Research Problem
Evidence-Based Practice Questions
Criteria for Well-Formed Questions
Establishing Validity and Reliability
Review Questions
Learning Activities

Chapter 4. Completing a Literature Search
Purposes of a Literature Search
Planning and Conducting a Search
Search Tools
Designing a Search Strategy
Organizing and Documenting Your Literature Search
Review Questions
Learning Activities
Appendix 4–1. Electronic Literature Search

Chapter 5. Writing a Literature Review
Research Phases
Purposes of a Literature Review
Note Taking
Writing the Paper
Example of an Outline
Summary and Conclusions Section
Citations and References
Literature Review Checklist
Types of Literature Reviews
Review Questions
Learning Activities

Chapter 6. Nonexperimental Research Design
Nonexperimental Research Designs
Survey Research
Case Studies
Longitudinal Research
Correlation and Regression
Group Comparisons
Causal-Comparative Research
Qualitative Research
Grounded Theory
Case Study
Conversation Analysis
Scientific Rigor in Qualitative Research
Review Questions
Learning Activities
Appendix 6–1. Examples of Research Designs

Chapter 7. Experimental Research and Levels of Evidence
Experimental Research Designs
Posttest-Only Designs
Pretest–Posttest Randomized Control Group Design
Solomon Randomized Four-Group Design
Switching Replications Design
Factorial Designs
Importance of Experimental Control
Statistical Regression
Quasi-Experimental Approaches
Nonequivalent Control Group Designs
Repeated Measures Group Design
Single-Subject Designs
Single-Subject Design Quality
Experimental Designs and Levels of Evidence
Review Questions
Learning Activities
Appendix 7–1. Research Scenario

Chapter 8. Research Participants and Sampling
Populations and Samples
Sample Characteristics
Sampling Methods
Simple Random Sampling
Systematic Sampling
Stratified Random Sampling
Cluster Sampling
Purposive Sampling
Random Assignment
Sample Size
Review Questions
Learning Activities

Chapter 9. Data Analysis: Describing Different Types of Data
Levels of Measurement
Visual Representation of Data
Descriptive Statistics
Frequencies and Percentages
Measures of Central Tendency
Measures of Variability
Means as Estimates
Shapes of Distributions
Review Questions
Learning Activities

Chapter 10. Data Analysis: Inferential Statistics
Inferential Statistics
Measures of Association
Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient
Coefficient of Determination
Spearman Rank-Order Correlation
Chi-Square and Contingency Coefficient
Simple Regression and Multiple Regression
Testing for Differences Between Two Samples
Independent and Paired t-Tests
Confidence Intervals
Mann-Whitney U
Sign Test and Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs Signed-Ranks Test
Testing for Differences among Three or More Samples
Statistical Analysis for Factorial Designs
Additional Tools for Analyzing Clinical Data
Caution in the Use and Reporting of Statistics
Review Questions
Learning Activities
Appendix 10–1. Examples of Data Analysis Procedures

Chapter 11. Research Outcomes: Clinical Guidance, Research Reports
Knowledge Base for Evaluating Clinical Research
Critical Appraisal
How Applicable Are the Findings
Reporting Research Findings
Components of a Research Report
Writing Guidelines and Writing Style
Disseminating Research Findings
Review Questions
Learning Activities



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