Book Review: Evaluating Research in Academic Journals: A Practical Guide to Realistic Evaluation (Pyrczak & Tcherni-Buzzeo, 2019)

I’m back! I’ve taken off a few months to read, recharge, and frame some study proposals with colleagues. I have a lot of things in the hopper…

During my break, I had a chance to help a PhD student graduate. It took some heavy lifting (another blog post by itself), but he made it! During my discussion with the emerging scholar, he asked me a question –

Which books do you own that could help me?

Hmmm…I have many, but let me start a list.

First up: Evaluating Research in Academic Journals: A Practical Guide to Realistic Evaluation

The most recent 7th Edition is written by Maria Tcherni-Buzzeo of New Haven University and pays homage to the originator of the book, the late Fred Pyrczak (1945-2014). The authors focus on how to read everything from Abstracts, Introductions, and Literature Reviews through the Analysis and Results section, ending in the Discussion section. In a checklist/rubric format, the book provides items (with example narrative in most places) such as –

  • Are primary variables mentioned in the title? (p. 17)
  • Does the introduction move from topic to topic instead of from citation to citation? (p. 43)
  • If the response rate was low, did the researcher make multiple attempts to contact potential participants? (p. 67)
  • If any differences are statistically significant but substantively small, have the researches noted they are small? (p. 123)

There are also specific sections in QUAN, QUAL, and MM research, which I have found invaluable.

This book is great for emerging scholars as they can apply it to learn how to critique academic research. It’s also great for chairpersons and people like me that critique research all day. It’s a must read (and buy!).