Professor Dan Montello and alumnus Paul Sutton (now at the University of Denver) recently published a book explaining the key elements of scientific philosophy and basic research concepts in Geography, “An Introduction to Scientific Research Methods in Geography” (2006. Thousand Oaks, CA, & London: Sage Publications. ISBN 1-4129-0287-8). According to Sage’s press release:This text provides a broad and integrative introduction to the conduct and interpretation of scientific research in geography. It covers both conceptual and technical aspects, and is applicable to all topical areas in geographic research, including human and physical geography, and geographic information science. The text discusses all parts of the research process, including scientific philosophy; basic research concepts; generating research ideas; communicating research and using library resources; sampling and research design; quantitative and qualitative data collection; data analysis, display, and interpretation; reliability and validity; using geographic information techniques in research; and ethical conduct in research.
The text is intended for English-language undergraduate and graduate courses on research methods in geography and related disciplines, such as environmental studies. In addition, it will be valuable as a reference work or primer for students, faculty, and other professionals who want a concise and integrated introduction to research methods in geography. The text applies the research philosophy and methods of the social and natural sciences to topics in geography. At the same time, it recognizes and respects the heterogeneity and pluralism of geography, and avoids simplistic conceptions of scientific geography as narrowly “positivistic,” “objective,” or “quantitative.” In this way, the text attempts to promote rigor and progressiveness in geography, helping to build bridges among the various subfields of geography and the other social and natural sciences, while avoiding some of the limiting meta-theoretical conflicts that have characterized geography in recent decades.