I wold like to know who are the main authors (and texts) which studied meditation using a scientific method and reported their results in a text that I can use for reference when I'm talking about meditation. Is there a scientific text which has been used for reference on this topic in the last years or there are only spread articles? An historical prospective is however welcome if is a good reference in the topic for the historical part.
Searching for "meditation" on Google Scholar sorts articles by relevance and provides counts of citations that each has received. From the first page of about 686,000 results, these are the references with over 1000 citations each (I've sorted them by citations, which Google Scholar does not do easily):
- Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994). Wherever you go, there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. Hyperion.
- Davidson, R. J., Kabat-Zinn, J., Schumacher, J., Rosenkranz, M., Muller, D., Santorelli, S. F., ... & Sheridan, J. F. (2003). Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65(4), 564–570.
- Kabat-Zinn, J. (1982). An outpatient program in behavioral medicine for chronic pain patients based on the practice of mindfulness meditation: Theoretical considerations and preliminary results. General Hospital Psychiatry, 4(1), 33–47.
- Peterson, L. G., & Pbert, L. (1992). Effectiveness of a meditation-based stress reduction program in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Am J Psychiatry, 149, 936–943.
- Kabat-Zinn, J., Lipworth, L., & Burney, R. (1985). The clinical use of mindfulness meditation for the self-regulation of chronic pain. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 8(2), 163–190.
Of course, you can edit the search terms, or set a custom range of publication dates if you want to look for references of more historical relevance. I don't think you should prefer textbooks over articles unless you're really looking to refer your audience to a comprehensive introduction to the topic.