2nd Edition

The Research Companion A practical guide for those in the social sciences, health and development

By Petra M. Boynton Copyright 2017
    300 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    300 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Have you ever wanted to know an effective and ethical way to:

    Design a study?

    Recruit participants?

    Report findings?

    And improve the quality and output of your research?

    The Research Companion focuses on the practical skills needed to complete research in the social or health sciences and development. It covers the behind-the-scenes essentials you need to run an effective and ethical piece of research and offers clear, honest advice to help avoid typical problems and improve standards and outcomes.  It addresses each stage of the research process from thinking of a research idea, through to managing, monitoring, completing and reporting your project, and working effectively and safely with participants and colleagues.

    As well as covering theoretical issues in research, the book is full of links to other resources and contains practical tips and stories from researchers at all levels. This new edition is fully updated to reflect shifts in funding structures, open access, and online developments and has a link to a blog and friendly online community for readers to connect with diverse researchers all sharing experiences and offering practical advice.

    The Research Companion brings hard-earned lessons from the real world to offer invaluable guidance to all students of the social and health sciences, from those just beginning their first research project, to experienced researchers and practitioners. It will be instrumental in raising readers’ competence levels and making their research more accurate, ethical, and productive.

    Acknowledgements  1. First Steps  2. Planning research  3. Starting out  4. Completing research  5. Participants  6. Researcher safety and well-being  7. Once a study’s underway  8. End results and reporting findings  9. Endnote.  References.  Author index.  Subject index. 


    Petra M. Boynton is a Social Psychologist, specialising in International Health Research from a critical perspective.  Over the past 20 years she has taught, supervised, and undertaken research across the social and health sciences and development within university and community settings. Her research focuses on sexual health; media; and the impact of pregnancy, pregnancy loss, and parenthood on relationships. She applies her work through a weekly advice column for The Telegraph.


    "In this updated edition of The Research Companion, Petra Boynton has, again, made thinking about research and how to do it wonderfully accessible while retaining the necessary nuance and rigour. This book will be invaluable to beginner researchers for undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees and to more experienced researchers. It shows us new and more useful ways of approaching courses in research methods. I will certainly be recommending it to my university library, my colleagues and to my students." Professor Debbie Epstein, University of Roehampton, UK.

    "Research is always a compromise between a scientific ideal and the opportunities and constraints provided by the real world. Too many ‘how to’ guides to research focus on the former and ignore the latter. This book, now in an improved second edition, addresses the practical reality of the research journey in Petra Boynton’s accessible style: how to plan a study, how to get it started, how to troubleshoot during it, how and why to write it up – and how to stay safe and sane throughout." Trisha Greenhalgh, Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, UK.

    "This clear-sighted, engaging, and personable guide to designing and carrying out research projects large and small will provide direction and comfort for students and practitioners daunted by the dry, overly complex professional literature on the subject. Petra Boynton breaks it down and builds you up, encouraging you to chart a path to completion that works for you." Sarah Shannon, Executive Director, Hesperian Health Guides

    "Whether you are just starting out as a researcher or have considerable experience, this book will be an invaluable companion on your journey to rigorous, ethical and high impact research. This makes for an immensely practical, comprehensive and enjoyable read, which will be relevant in the UK and internationally." Susie Jolly, co-author of Women, Sexuality, and the Political Power of Pleasure.