Identification of Books and Book Chapters

Database used

Currently, a good electronic database that catalogs books and book chapters does not exist.  We conducted our book and book chapter search using GoogleScholar.


Like ISI Web of Science, GoogleScholar does report and rank order each book or book chapter by number of times cited in other scholarly works.  It is, however, unclear how Googlescholar determines the number of times a book or book chapter has been cited.  No information about this process was found on the website.  It was observed that the number of times cited can vary.  This is a limitation.  Our use of this method for collecting highly used books and book chapters in qualitative research should be viewed as a 'best available' indicator.

Search Strategy 

Using an advanced searching technique, we used the terms "qualitative research." We limited our search to two categories:  "the "social sciences, arts and humanities" and "medicine, pharmacology and veterinary science." Our search yielded 421,000 hits. 

In our database, we included relevant books and book chapters that were reported by GoogleScholar to have been cited more than 45 times in other scholarly works.   

This method of searching was complemented by a 'snowball' technique.  Using the journal articles we identified, we examined the references of each article to identify a list of qualitative research books and book chapters that these authors most frequently referenced in their own work.  There were significant overlaps between the snowball technique and the GoogleScholar search. Duplicates were eliminated to produce one comprehensive database.

Books were identified and reviewed. 

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