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Research Methodology: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

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Ranjit Kumar

Research Methodology: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners 5th Edition, Kindle Edition

Designed with students, for students

Eight steps, two pathways, one book.  The Fifth Edition of the bestseller  Research Methodology  has reimagined, redesigned, and fully renovated how a textbook can help students achieve success in their methods course or research project.

Eight steps:  Foolproof for any beginner researcher, the book breaks the process of designing and doing a research project into achievable stages. It delivers students from research problem to their written research report at the pace they need, with clear explanations, DIY tasks and study skills support.  In a new  landscape format  it presents figures, models and visualizations elegantly, so they don′t break over a page, making even complex concepts easier to understand.

Two pathways:  With an innovative, beautiful design, regular progress checkpoints have been built into the book and its online resources. As students proceed through the 8 steps, each chapter provides regular opportunities for students to check understanding or give themselves a challenge. Each pathway then gives them the resources they need.

  • Confused? Stop, practise with quizzes and flashcards, or use a video to look at a concept a different way.
  • Up for a challenge? Access a wealth of additional material including research articles, readings, case studies, activities, bibliography tools and inspiration to pursue your curiosity, impress your lecturer, and nail your assignments.

With this one book,  every student gets what they need to succeed. It is the perfect essential text for students and beginner researchers across the social sciences.

  • ISBN-13 978-1526449900
  • Edition 5th
  • Sticky notes On Kindle Scribe
  • Publisher SAGE Publications Ltd
  • Publication date December 10, 2018
  • Language English
  • File size 13634 KB
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Quantitative Research in Education: A Primer

Editorial Reviews

About the author.

Dr Ranjit Kumar taught at Curtin University of Technology and the University of Western Australia for 30 years. He is currently a freelance research and evaluation consultant in Western Australia.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07BS98D8W
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ SAGE Publications Ltd; 5th edition (December 10, 2018)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ December 10, 2018
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 13634 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 525 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 1526449900
  • #69 in Social Science Methodology
  • #125 in Education Research (Kindle Store)
  • #150 in Social Science Research

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textbook on research methodology

Ranjit Kumar

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Research Methodology

Research Methodology A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

  • Ranjit Kumar - University of Western Australia, Australia
  • Description
  • Author(s) / Editor(s)

Designed with students, for students and now shortlisted for the British Book Design and Production Awards 2019!

Eight steps, two pathways, one book.  The Fifth Edition of the bestseller  Research Methodology  has reimagined, redesigned, and fully renovated how a textbook can help students achieve success in their methods course or research project.

Eight steps:  Foolproof for any beginner researcher, the book breaks the process of designing and doing a research project into achievable stages. It delivers students from research problem to their written research report at the pace they need, with clear explanations, DIY tasks and study skills support.  In a new  landscape format  it presents figures, models and visualizations elegantly, so they don't break over a page, making even complex concepts easier to understand.

Two pathways:  With an innovative, beautiful design, regular progress checkpoints have been built into the book and its online resources. As students proceed through the 8 steps, each chapter provides regular opportunities for students to check understanding or give themselves a challenge. Each pathway then gives them the resources they need.

  • Confused? Stop, practise with quizzes and flashcards, or use a video to look at a concept a different way.
  • Up for a challenge? Access a wealth of additional material including research articles, readings, case studies, activities, bibliography tools and inspiration to pursue your curiosity, impress your lecturer, and nail your assignments.

With this one book,  every student gets what they need to succeed. It is the perfect essential text for students and beginner researchers across the social sciences.

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Good book for beginner

This is an excellent resource on research methodology and very accessible for the students I teach.

This is an excellent book BUT this edition is HIDEOUS.

It is a weird shape and won't fit well on our library shelves. One of my students mentioned she keeps her's on the floor.

The text is at times pink on pink or blue on blue and the contrast is terrible - that's an accessibility issue.

On a more subjective note, the fonts and the neons look like someone was trying to be cool and trendy and it smacks of 'hello fellow kids'. Fire the graphic designer.

I have suggested that my students buy 4th eds used if possible as it looks like a grow-up book for adults, and will fit on a bookshelf, and is actually LEGIBLE especially if they have any eye issues, colour blindness or specific learning difficulties

Standard classic text - appropriate for any level of study. Excellent overview of concepts and terminology.

A colourful and easy to use text book which I think the students will enjoy.

Fantastic research book. Very easy to read, well laid out and informative

An extremely detailed yet accessible introduction to conducting and evaluating research in a variety of subjects. This is a really helpful resource for students and is presented in an engaging manner.

I am no longer the course leader for this module but this is the best book on the market It is so well structured and very informative in an easier to read format than many other books on this topic

Great overview of research in a user friendly presentation, love the bright colours and unusual landscape layout.

Love this book. Very useful to dip in an out of and is bright and engaging. Clearly defined chapters with a good range of practical activities and exercises to reinforce learning. Student friendly and the bonus of online resources.

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Sample materials & chapters, ranjit kumar.

Dr Ranjit Kumar taught at Curtin University of Technology and the University of Western Australia for 30 years. He is currently a freelance research and evaluation consultant in Western Australia. More About Author

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Qualitative Methodology: A Practical Guide

  • By: Jane Mills & Melanie Birks
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc.
  • Publication year: 2014
  • Online pub date: December 18, 2017
  • Discipline: Anthropology
  • Methods: Narrative research , Case study research , Research questions
  • DOI: https:// doi. org/10.4135/9781473920163
  • Keywords: critical thinking , discipline , discourse , inquiry , knowledge , philosophy , publications Show all Show less
  • Print ISBN: 9781446248980
  • Online ISBN: 9781473920163
  • Buy the book icon link

Subject index

Fresh, insightful and clear, this exciting textbook provides an engaging introduction to the application of qualitative methodology in the real world. Expert researchers then trace the history and philosophical underpinnings of different methodologies, explore the specific demands each places upon the researcher and robustly set out relevant issues surrounding quality and rigor. Featured methodologies include action research, discourse analysis, ethnography, grounded theory, case studies and narrative inquiry. This practical book provides a helpful guide to the research process - it introduces the relevant methods of generating, collecting and analysing data for each discrete methodology and then looks at best practice for presenting findings. This enables new researchers to compare qualitative methods and to confidently select the approach most appropriate for their own research projects. Key features include: • Summary table for each chapter - allowing quick checks to test knowledge • ‘Window into’ sections - real world examples showing each methodology in action • Student activities • Learning objectives • Full glossary • Annotated suggestions for further reading • Links to downloadable SAGE articles • Links to relevant websites and organizations This is an invaluable resource for students and researchers across the social sciences and a must-have guide for those embarking on a research project. Visit the accompanying companion website for a range of free additional resources.

Front Matter

  • Notes on Editors and Contributors
  • Chapter 1 | Introducing Qualitative Research
  • Chapter 2 | Practical Philosophy
  • Chapter 3 | Methodology and Methods
  • Chapter 4 | Action Research
  • Chapter 5 | Discourse Analysis
  • Chapter 6 | Critical Ethnography
  • Chapter 7 | Grounded Theory
  • Chapter 8 | Historical Research
  • Chapter 9 | Case Study
  • Chapter 10 | Narrative Research
  • Chapter 11 | Phenomenology
  • Chapter 12 | Proposing Your Research
  • Chapter 13 | Quality in Qualitative Research
  • Chapter 14 | A New Generation of Qualitative Research

Introduction to Research Methods

Eric van Holm, PhD

1 Introduction to the Book

“The true path to wisdom can be identified … it has to have practical application in your life. Otherwise, wisdom becomes a useless thing and deteriorates, like a sword that is never used.” - Paulo Coelho, “The Pilgrimage”

This book is intended as a practical introduction to research methods in the social sciences. If you pursue research academically or professionally, it will probably not be the last book you need to read on the subject. This is intended as something of a gentle introduction with a focus on the applications of the information and examples.

There are a lot of terms that many such textbooks would include that are left out of this edition. I believe that learning is like pouring water into a cup. Once the cup is full, you can keep pouring but the cup wont hold more water. What you should do is drink the water before you refill it. The analogy gets a little bit stretched there, but “drinking the water” stands in for using the information. Once you actually understand the basics in this text, you’ll be ready to read a more advanced book that fills you back up.

So how did I decide what to leave out and what to include? I gave preference to the terms and information I need in my working life as someone who does research. Terms like inductive and deductive research are left out, not because they are unimportant, but because I rarely encounter them. Their definitions might be good material for a test on the terms in this book, but I don’t believe they are fundamentally important to your ability to engage with published research or conduct basic research yourself.

Research is best learned through practice. Like many classes, it is hard to really understand the difference between the different terms and ideas unless you’re actually using them for yourself. This book is written with the understanding that the subject is hard to internalize, and so real world examples are offered where they can be. But that’s not enough to make you an expert. And in fact, it’s hard for anyone to be an expert - there are always new methods and techniques to learn that can improve the ability of researchers to answer important questions. But this book is a good place to start, or at least I hope it is.

With that, I have to give a warning. If you take research methods from another teacher in the future, things might be described differently. That means I’ve sometimes ignored esoteric terms that you wont encounter outside a research methods class. And sometimes I define the terms I use slightly differently than others would. The goal is for this book to be approachable for students who have no background in the subject, aren’t interested in methods, and don’t like statistics.

My primary goal is to impart some of my excitement for research and statistics to you. If I fail in that, I hope I can at least make you better able to engage with the copious amounts of research that will shape policy and your behaviors during your life.

This book is copyrighted under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Public License, which means that it’s free for you and anyone to use. The Fall 2020 edition is a substantial expansion of another edition written in the Fall of 2019, and will continue to be updated in the future.

1.1 The Plan for this book

This book encompasses 1) the development of a research project and 2) the analysis of the resulting data you might collect.

The first half of the book concentrates on the development of a research project. That half of the book is written for a student that has to write a class research paper or thesis and doesn’t know where to start. It’ll walk the student through the development and identification of an idea through the collection of data.

But just collecting data isn’t enough if you’re going to do your own research. And with the growth of data that is available online, it isn’t even a necessary place to start (although understanding the first half is important), So the second half is written with the idea that the data is collected, and now it must be analyzed. In those chapters the book will walk the reader through basic steps of presenting and analyzing data that are common to many research projects. In those chapters we’ll also learn how to do all of that in R, a free software that is commonly used in data science. We’ll talk about that more later though.

1.2 Acknowledgements

I’d like to thank several students that helped with the updating of this book: Theresa Anderson, Maria Andrade, Derek Brumfield, Diane Buckley, Ashley Felan, Britain Forsyth, Omar Garcia, Marcus Gibson, Heather Glass, Ashley Hebert, Kirstie Jiles, Alisha Large, Liz Mexwell, Todd McConnell, Tokolongo Mokuena, Ashley Paratore, Chad Populis, Ben Quimby, Sabrina Richardson, Stephanie Riegel, Frank Robertson, Michelle Rosamond, and Tosha Shanableh. Of course, any errors or mistakes are the authors alone.

I’d also like to thank Jesse Lecy for pushing me to learn R and inspiring me to put together this book.

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Research Methods for the Social Sciences: An Introduction

(0 reviews)

Valerie Sheppard, JIBC

Copyright Year: 2020

Last Update: 2024

Publisher: BCcampus

Language: English

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Table of Contents

  • Accessibility Statement
  • About This Book
  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Research Methods
  • Chapter 2: Ethics in Research
  • Chapter 3: Developing a Research Question
  • Chapter 4: Measurement and Units of Analysis
  • Chapter 5: The Literature Review
  • Chapter 6: Data Collection Strategies
  • Chapter 7: Sampling Techniques
  • Chapter 8: Data Collection Methods: Survey Research
  • Chapter 9: Analysis Of Survey Data
  • Chapter 10: Qualitative Data Collection & Analysis Methods
  • Chapter 11: Quantitative Interview Techniques & Considerations
  • Chapter 12: Field Research: A Qualitative Research Technique
  • Chapter 13: Unobtrusive Research: Qualitative And Quantitative Approaches
  • Chapter 14: The Research Proposal
  • Chapter 15: Sharing Your Research
  • Chapter 16: Reading and Understanding Social Research
  • Chapter 17: Research Methods in the Real World
  • List of Links

Ancillary Material

About the book.

This textbook provides a broad overview of research methods utilized in sociology. It will be of particular value for students who are new to research methods.

About the Contributors

Valerie Sheppard , JIBC

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Introducing Research Methodology

Introducing Research Methodology Thinking Your Way Through Your Research Project

  • Uwe Flick - Freie Universtität Berlin, Germany
  • Description

Offering an encyclopedic introduction to research, this book shows students how to think about every stage of their project and equips them with the tools they need to understand different research processes.

Packed with examples showing the diversity of research, this third edition provides hands-on guidance to help students:

  • Develop key academic skills like critical thinking, effective writing and building an argument
  • Confidently interpret findings, assess arguments and understand the wider impact of their research
  • Understand the challenges and opportunities involved in working with new types of data like social media and online data

Supported by a dynamic new website with downloadable templates, case studies, dos and don’ts videos and more, this practical book prepares students for not just getting to grips with methodological concepts, but being ready to apply them.

See what’s new to this edition by selecting the Features tab on this page. Should you need additional information or have questions regarding the HEOA information provided for this title, including what is new to this edition, please email [email protected] . Please include your name, contact information, and the name of the title for which you would like more information. For information on the HEOA, please go to http://ed.gov/policy/highered/leg/hea08/index.html .

For assistance with your order: Please email us at [email protected] or connect with your SAGE representative.

SAGE 2455 Teller Road Thousand Oaks, CA 91320 www.sagepub.com

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A significant effort has been made to present a detailed, contemporary overview of designing and conducting social research. The author goes beyond the usual content covered in this type of textbook, by elaborating on worldview methodological approaches to research.

This continues to be a stand-out resource for students who are undertaking their first social research project, and this edition brings many welcome updates. Particularly welcome are the strengthening of the section on ethics, and the integration of online and digital research throughout the text.

This is a really useful and comprehensive resource for all researchers.

This book offers a solid grounding for research projects enabling insight into the what, when and why questions. Chapters provoke engagement with methods, reasoning and analysis so that those undertaking research find their own starting point and positionality.

A useful and easy to read book about research methods, giving students a clear introduction to research methodology.

Essential reading from BA level to PhD. Useful chapters that break down a research project into digestible pieces, making it easy to pick up and put down over a period of time without forgetting the information.

Moved to a new university. Will consider adoption on courses there as the content was relevant and accessible.

A useful introduction to research methodology, including a raft of useful online resources for both students and staff

Very useful guide - will use with 4th yr and Masters students

Comprehensive, educative, easy to read and to overview.

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Textbook research as scientific research: towards a common ground on issues and methods of research on mathematics textbooks

  • Original Article
  • Published: 19 August 2013
  • Volume 45 , pages 765–777, ( 2013 )

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  • Lianghuo Fan 1  

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School textbooks have received increasing attention in the international research community of mathematics education over the last decades. Nevertheless, mathematics textbook research as a field of research is still at an early stage of development, and its philosophical foundations, theoretical frameworks and research methods for disciplined inquiry are still lacking or fundamentally underdeveloped. To this end, by drawing on the literature and the author’s own work, this paper provides a critical analysis of contemporary issues and methods for mathematics textbook research. Based on the analysis, the paper puts forward a conceptual framework which conceptualizes textbooks as an intermediate variable in the context of education and hence defines mathematics textbook research as disciplined inquiry into issues about mathematics textbooks and the relationships between mathematics textbooks and other factors in mathematics education. The paper argues that researchers need to expand research issues from descriptive issues such as how a special topic is treated in textbooks to correlational issues and, especially, causal issues including how they are affected by other factors and how they affect other factors concerning education. For this purpose, researchers must also go beyond textbook analysis, textbook comparison and textbook use to a new and shifted paradigm of research that employs more empirical and experimental methods and view more rigorously textbook research as scientific research.

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As Pingel (1999/ 2010 ) pointed out, the school subjects of history, geography and civics are particularly relevant for education towards democracy, human rights and international and intercultural awareness, and hence the international textbook analysis under the auspices of the League of Nations and UNESCO mainly deals with these subjects for the purpose of promoting international understanding.

In his landmark book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions , Kuhn ( 1962 ) used “shared paradigms” to refer to the set of practices that are commonly shared and provide model problems and solutions for a community of researchers. Kuhn claimed that “Men whose research is based on shared paradigms are committed to the same rules and standards for scientific practice” (Kuhn 1962 , p. 11), and later he stressed “a paradigm is what the members of a scientific community, and they alone, share” (Kuhn 1977 , p. 294). It includes, but is not limited to, what is important to be observed and scrutinized, what kind of questions are of significance to be asked, and what are established scientific methods and how the results of scientific investigations should be interpreted. As Bird pointed out, the central commitment shared by the members of a scientific community is to the “shared exemplars” (Bird 2012 ).

Readers who are interested to know more about these papers accepted for both ICME-10 DG14 and ICME-11 DG17 can read/download them from the official websites of ICME-10 ( http://www.icme10.dk/ ; or contact this author) and ICME-11 ( http://www.icme11.org/ , accessed 25 July 2013)

For papers presented at the 5th APEC-Tsukuba International Conference, see the conference official website at http://www.criced.tsukuba.ac.jp/math/apec/apec2011/index_en.php , accessed 23 July 2013. Note that some presentations were made using PowerPoint slides without the full papers being available online.

The abstracts of the papers presented at the ICSMT 2011 conference are available at http://math.ecnu.edu.cn/academia/icsmt/programme_booklet1.pdf , accessed 23 July 2013.

An intermediate variable is a variable in a causal pathway that causes variation in the dependent variable and is itself caused to vary by the independent variable (e.g. see http://www.lexic.us , accessed 23 July 2013).

Readers who wish to know more about document analysis as a research method may refer to Bowen ( 2009 ).

As mentioned earlier, another reason, proposed by Rezat ( 2006 ), could be the lack of a theoretical framework for textbook use.

Bao, J. (2002). A comparative study on composite difficulty of Chinese and British school mathematics curricula. Unpublished doctoral dissertation . East China Normal University, Shanghai.

Bird, A. (2012). The structure of scientific revolutions and its significance: An essay review of the fiftieth anniversary edition. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 63 , 859–883.

Article   Google Scholar  

Bowen, G. A. (2009). Document analysis as a qualitative research method. Qualitative Research Journal, 9 (2), 27–40.

Chandler, D. G., & Brosnan, P. A. (1995). A comparison between mathematics textbook content and a statewide mathematics proficiency test. School Science and Mathematics, 95 (3), 118–123.

Dole, S., & Shield, M. J. (2008). The capacity of two Australian eighth-grade textbooks for promoting proportional reasoning. Research in Mathematics Education, 10 (1), 19–35.

Fan, L. (1993). On the meaning, characteristics, and value of mathematics education experiment. Bulletin of Mathematics (in Chinese). May Issue, 1–4.

Fan, L. (1998). Applications of arithmetic in the United States and Chinese textbooks: A comparative study. In I. Huntly & G. Kaiser (Eds.), International comparison in mathematics education (pp. 151–162). London: Falmer Press.

Google Scholar  

Fan, L. (2010). Principles and processes for publishing textbooks and alignment with standards: a case in Singapore. Paper presented at APEC Conference on Replicating Exemplary Practices in Mathematics Education, Koh Samui, Thailand.

Fan, L., Chen, J., Zhu, Y., Qiu, X., & Hu, Q. (2004). Textbook use within and beyond Chinese mathematics classrooms: a study of 12 secondary schools in Kunming and Fuzhou of China. In L. Fan, N. Y. Wong, J. Cai, & S. Li (Eds.), How Chinese learn mathematics: Perspectives from insiders (pp. 228–261). Singapore: World Scientific.

Chapter   Google Scholar  

Fan, L., & Kaeley, G. S. (2000). The influence of textbooks on teaching strategies: an empirical study. Mid-Western Educational Researcher, 13 (4), 2–9.

Fan, L., Turnau, S., Dole, S., Gelfman, E., & Li, Y. (2008). DG 14: Focus on the development and research of mathematics textbooks. In M. Niss (Ed.), Proceedings of the 10th international congress on mathematical education (pp. 485–489). Roskilde: Roskilde University.

Fan, L., & Zhu, Y. (2007). Representation of problem-solving procedures: a comparative look at China, Singapore, and US mathematics textbooks. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 66 (1), 61–75.

Freed, M. N., Hess, R. K., & Ryan, J. M. (1988). The educator’s desk reference: A sourcebook of educational information and research . New York: Macmillan.

Howson, G. (1995). Mathematics textbooks: A comparative study of grade 8 texts (TIMSS monograph No. 3). Vancouver, Canada: Pacific Educational Press.

Johnson, B. (2000). It’s (beyond) time to drop the terms causal - comparative and correlational research in educational research methods . Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

Johnson, R. B., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2004). Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33 (7), 14–26.

Kuhn, T. (1962). The structure of scientific revolutions . Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Kuhn, T. (1977). The essential tension: Selected studies in scientific tradition and change . Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Love, E., & Pimm, D. (1996). This is so: a text on texts. In A. J. Bishop, K. Clements, C. Keitel, J. Kilpatrick, & C. Laborde (Eds.), International handbook of mathematics education (pp. 371–410). The Netherlands: Kluwer.

McNaught, M., Tarr, J., & Sears, R. (2010, May). Conceptualizing and measuring fidelity of implementation of secondary mathematics textbooks: results of a 3 - year study. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association annual meeting, Denver, CO.

Morrison, K. (2009). Causation in educational research . London: Routledge.

National Mathematics Advisory Panel. (2008). Foundations for success: The final report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel . Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education.

Nicholls, J. (2003). Methods in school textbook research. International Journal of Historical Learning, Teaching and Research, 3 (2), 1–17.

Nicholls, J. (2005). The philosophical underpinnings of school textbook research. Paradigm, 3 (1), 25–35.

O’Donnell, C. L. (2008). Defining, conceptualizing, and measuring fidelity of implementation and its relationship to outcomes in K-12 intervention research. Review of Educational Research, 78 (1), 33–84.

Österholm, M. (2006). Characterizing reading comprehension of mathematical texts. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 63 (3), 325–346.

Pepin, B., & Haggarty, L. (2002). An investigation of mathematics textbooks and their use in English, French, and German classrooms: who gets an opportunity to learn what? British Educational Research Journal, 28 (4), 567–590.

Pingel, F. (2010). UNESCO guidebook on textbook research and textbook revision (2nd revised and updated edition). Paris: UNESCO.

Postlethwaite, T. N. (2005). Educational research: Some basic concepts and terminology . Paris: International Institute for Educational Planning/UNESCO.

Remillard, J. T. (2005). Examining key concepts in research on teachers’ use of mathematics curricula. Review of Educational Research, 75 (2), 211–246.

Rezat, S. (2006). A model of textbook use. In J. Novotna, H. Kratka, & N. Stehlikova (Eds.), Proceedings of the 30th annual conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (Vol. 4, pp. 409–416). Prague: PME.

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Acknowledgments

An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2011 International Conference on School Mathematics Textbooks. The author wishes to thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments for the revision of the paper.

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Fan, L. Textbook research as scientific research: towards a common ground on issues and methods of research on mathematics textbooks. ZDM Mathematics Education 45 , 765–777 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11858-013-0530-6

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Accepted : 06 August 2013

Published : 19 August 2013

Issue Date : September 2013

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/s11858-013-0530-6

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