Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research

Article excerpt

The SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research. Ed. by David Coghlan and Mary Brydon-Miller. Los Angeles: Sage Reference, 2014. 2 vols. $315 (ISBN 978-1-84920-027-1).

"Action research" has always been one of those broadly defined terms I would come across when perusing a more general research methods encyclopedia or textbook, until now. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research devotes eight hundred plus pages to exploring all aspects of this topic, from methods and methodologies to theory, settings, and philosophical underpinnings--even spirituality! The definition provided in the introduction is all-encompassing, noting the "global family of related approaches"; however, the breadth and diversity of contents within these volumes evinces the myriad layers of how, where, when, and why action research is used (xxv).

Entries, listed alphabetically (not clustered by theme, etc., except in the Reader's Guide), vary in length, most of which span several pages and contain enough substance to be broken down into four to five (or more) sections. Where appropriate, tables and other figures or charts are included to supplement the text. Front matter is brief, and there are no appendices. Many of the entries would, at first glance, appear to be generic and not necessarily unique to action research (for example, "Authenticity," "Conflict Management," "Data Analysis," "Quantitative Methods," etc. …

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