UGA professor to release research glossary with smart phone application

November 30, 2010

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Athens, Ga. - Michael Holosko, the Pauline M. Berger Professor of Family and Child Welfare in the University of Georgia School of Social Work, is releasing a glossary of more than 1,500 commonly used research terms. The glossary, entitled "A Glossary of Commonly Used Research Terms for Social and Behavioral Sciences," will be the first research book published in the form of a smart phone application by Sage Publications. The glossary also will be published as a handbook and a downloadable software application for personal computers.

"This is really exciting," said Holosko. "It sets up beautifully as a phone app.Students will have something portable they can see and interact with when they are doing critical thinking and research studies."

Holosko, who has taught research for more than 33 years in five different countries, was inspired to create the glossary to fill a gap in the literature and simplify complex research terms into understandable bites.

"In my judgment, the number one barrier for students learning research is what I refer to as the ‘language of.'Once they have a mastery of the language, they adapt to it very well," he said.

Holosko coauthored the book with Bruce Thyer, a former UGA colleague who now is a professor at Florida State University in the School of Social Work. The pair worked with graduate students through the Pauline M. Berger Memorial Graduate Assistantship in Child and Family Welfare and the Tisha Abolt Graduate Assistantship to identify commonly used research terms. Approximately 60 percent of the terms in the glossary have been defined in one sentence, and there are no definitions exceeding three sentences, explained Holosko.

The team field-tested the glossary with students across the social and behavioral sciences curriculum and implemented their feedback, making definitions simpler. Initial reviews from Sage's editorial body have been very positive, added Holosko. The appendix includes commonly used research and statistical acronyms and links to the core journals of 13 different disciplines in the social sciences.

The book took three years to complete. "It was a labor of love, and I couldn't have done it without the support of the endowed chair," said Holosko. "I was fortunate to have the students to work with and the resources at hand."

Apple Inc. is projected to develop the smart phone interface. The book and applications will be available for purchase in June 2011. For more information about the UGA School of Social Work, see www.ssw.uga.edu:8091/plone.

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