We're authors and co-authors of several books on research methods and academic life.


Rugg & D'Agnese: Blind Spot

This book tells the story of our main piece of work together, the Verifier method. It's a story that brings together ancient mysteries and modern science, as it describes how we identified a new way of tracking down human errors in expert research. Our goal was to identify possible solutions to long standing problems that previour researchers had missed.

When we had developed the method, we needed a test for it. That's what took us to the mysterious Voynich Manuscript, an undeciphered ancient book that had resisted the world's greatest codebreakers since its discovery in 1912. Using our approach, within a few weeks Gordon not only spotted key errors in previous research, but also identified a possible solution that everyone else had missed.

Blind Spot tells how this happened, with examples from our work in fields ranging from medicine and forensics to textual analysis. More...

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Petre & Rugg: The Unwritten Rules of PhD Research

What’s doing a PhD really like? What is a PhD anyway? Why do so many people on PhDs look stressed and lost? Can PhDs actually be fun and worthwhile?

This book contains answers to these questions and many more. It’s a wry, humorous guide to PhDs, designed to help you avoid pitfalls and to get the most out of the process.

It's one of the two classic books on doing a PhD, together with Phillips & Pugh's How to get a PhD. More...

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More about our books

Complementing Blind Spot and the Unwritten Rules, our other books are reader-friendly guides to good research.


Rugg & Petre: A Gentle Guide to Research Methods

Surprisingly few students know about any research methods apart from interviews, questionnaires and focus groups.

This book is a practical, gentle guide that systematically covers a broad range of research methods, with guidance on which methods to use in which situations, and in which combinations with each other. This guidance extends from firming up the initial research question, through the research design and the data collection, to different forms of analysis, and to writing up the results. More...

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Rugg: Using Statistics

This is an introduction to using statistics, for normal human beings who aren’t great at maths. It gently explains the key concepts, with examples. Its emphasis is on showing what sorts of questions you can answer by using the right form of statistics. This starts with a description of what you can do with purely qualitative research, and then progresses through successive further questions that you can answer with different types of statistics. More...

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Rugg, Gerrard & Hooper: The Stress-Free Guide to Student Life

This book is a student’s guide to preventing and handling stress, and to achieving well-being. If you're a stressed student, and this book is in your university's library, then it's well worth a read. More...

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