The Researcher Reading List

The Researcher Reading List

Here are five books that are great reads for any researcher. We found these titles from our own reading, recommendations from teachers and friends, and through online book review websites. We are excited to pass along these five titles that we think researchers will enjoy or learn from. Happy reading!

1.Headstrong: 25 Women Who Changed Science and the World by Rachel Swaby

This book provides a fantastic collection of role models for female scientists to look up to. Headstrong was inspired by rocket scientist Yvonne Brill’s obituary which did not even mention her scientific career until the second paragraph, after first outlining her role as a wife. From Nobel Prize winners to innovators who remained under the radar, Swaby provides interesting information about successful women and their accomplishments. The scope of the book includes women from across centuries, and you are sure to find accomplished women you have not heard of as well as new facts about those you may be familiar with. This book serves as a great historical record of women in science as well as a piece of powerful inspiration for the next generation.

2.Writing Ethnographic Field Notes by Robert M. Emerson, Rachel I. Fretz, and Linda L. Shaw
This book explains how ethnographers turn direct experience and observation into written field notes by drawing on the author's years of teaching and fieldwork experience. While this book is especially relevant to social scientists, anyone involved in fieldwork can find hints and tricks to make their note-taking more effective. This book not only provides these helpful tools, it also incorporates analysis of real field notes to help explain why researchers make the note taking choices that they do. If you enjoy this book, there is also a companion titled, “Tales of the Field,” which provides even more insight for fieldwork.

3.The Art of Case Study Research by Robert E. Stake

The Art of Case Study Research provides straightforward and helpful information about case study methods. The author uses actual case studies to “answer questions such as, ‘How is a case study created?’ and ‘How can we optimize what is learned from a case?’” In addition, Stake differentiates between qualitative and quantitative methods, explains coding, and shares tips about data gathering. This book is approachable and well written for anyone who is new to conducting case studies.

4.Mastering Your PhD: Survival and Success in the Doctoral Years and Beyond by Patricia Gosling and Lambertus D. Noordam

This title does an outstanding job of guiding students through their years of graduate studies. The authors gives practical advice for finding programs, communicating with your advisors, and planning for the future. This book serves as a great resource for students when they may encounter a tough time during their program and need some quick, sound advice. The book even provides information to help students after they finish their doctoral program as they transition into their careers. The focus is for students studying life or physical sciences, computer science, math or medicine, but any student is sure to be able to find helpful advice in this book.

5.Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Lab Girl is an autobiographical work by Hope Jahren who has opened three labs to study trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. The book shares her experiences working in science, and also goes beyond this to share tales of love and life. Jahren shares stories of her relationship with her mentor who helps to propel her career forward while also encouraging personal work. This book is an enjoyable read for anyone in science looking to hear the honest experiences of a fellow scientist.

Have your own recommendations? Want to let us know what you thought of these titles? Let us know on Twitter, @conserisapp! Then, check out Conseris, the data collection app designed to make data collection more efficient.