Scientific Method for Ecological Research

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 13, 2000 - Science - 564 pages
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Scientists tend to take the thought processes that drive their research for granted, often learning them indirectly by observing their supervisors and colleagues. This book emphasizes the advantages of being explicit about these thought processes and aims to help those undertaking ecological research to develop a critical attitude to approaching a scientific problem and constructing a procedure for assessment. The outcome is a text that provides a framework for understanding methodological issues and which assists with the effective definition and planning of ecological research. As such, it represents a unique resource for anyone embarking on their research career. It also provides a valuable source of information for those more experienced researchers who are seeking to strengthen the methodology underlying their studies or who have an interest in the analysis of research methods in ecology.
 

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Contents

1 Component processes of ecological research
1
Developing an analytical framework
15
2 Five processes of research planning
19
3 Conceptual and propositional analysis for defining research problems
41
4 Development of a research plan
73
5 How theories develop and how to use them
103
6 The art of measurement and experiment
131
7 Methods of reasoning in research
169
12 Use of mathematical models for constructing explanations in ecology
351
Working in the research community
393
13 Scientific research as a social process
395
14 Values and standpoints and their influence on research
431
Defining a methodology for ecological research
465
15 The methodology of Progressive Synthesis
467
16 Criticisms and improvements for the scientific method in ecology
497
Suggestions for instructors
521

8 Assessment of postulates
203
9 Individual philosophies and their methods
235
Making a synthesis for scientific inference
269
10 Properties and domains of ecological concepts
279
11 Strategies of scientific research in ecology
309

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