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    Replication is not about making or breaking careers: it is about providing an opportunity to move science forward.

Replication is not about making or breaking careers: it is about providing an opportunity to move science forward.

Replication and closer scrutiny of published findings are generally welcome in the scientific community, but questions have been raised over how replication attempts are being reported. Whilst there are certainly arguments for more friendly and cooperative tones to scientific debate, Dorothy Bishop welcomes this next chapter in rigorous debate. Reputation and career prospects will, at the end of the day, […]

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    How much data do you need? Like documentary film-making, research requires far greater coverage than the final cut.

How much data do you need? Like documentary film-making, research requires far greater coverage than the final cut.

It can be difficult to determine how much data is required for research analysis. Kerim Friedman compares the process to documentary film-making where they typically shoot sixty times the amount that makes the final cut. The concept of a “shooting ratio” underlines the necessity of collecting a lot of data in order to find that one choice nugget upon which hinges the analysis. But […]

Book Review: Doing Research in the Real World by David E. Gray

In this book David E. Gray introduces readers to the essential aspects of the research process, covering topics ranging from best approaches to the design of appropriate research tools, to issues of data collection, analysis, and writing up. The author skilfully explains complex and daunting concepts in an unpretentious manner that simultaneously demystifies the research process and illuminates the complexity and messiness of actual research, […]

Book Review: Political Science Research Methods: Exploring America at a Crossroads by Cal Clark

With this textbook, Cal Clark aims to provide clear descriptions of the major statistical techniques used in political and social science research for undergraduate students. This is a rewarding read that flows coherently from concepts recognizable to most schoolchildren up to complex statistical techniques without losing its focus, finds Nicholas Thomason. This originally appeared on LSE Review of Books. Political Science Research Methods: Exploring America at […]

Book Review: An Introduction to Scientific Research Methods in Geography and Environmental Studies

This updated and extended Second Edition of An Introduction to Scientific Research Methods in Geography and Environmental Studies aims to provide a broad and integrative introduction to the conduct and interpretation of scientific research in geography. This new edition includes new material on GPS and map projections, as well as an expanded chapter on scientific communication. Reviewed by Yves Laberge. An Introduction to […]

January 5th, 2014|Book Reviews|1 Comment|

Impact-monitoring research leads to clear EU policy recommendations to improve services for children of prisoners.

In England and Wales there are an estimated 200,000 children with a parent in prison, and on any given day, an estimated 800,000 children have a parent in prison in the European Union. The COPING team argue that this area has been in need of academic research, and explain how their focus on maintaining and monitoring impact has yielded some […]

Book Review: Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook

In the fourth edition of his best-selling textbook, David Silverman provides a step-by-step guide to planning and conducting qualitative research. Using real examples from real postgraduate students, the book aims to make it easy to link theory to methods and shows how to move from understanding the principles of qualitative research to doing it yourself. This book will be of great use to […]

Of Method and Freedom: How to re-shape the restrictive dynamic between researcher and participant.

The ever more clinical ways of extracting and analysing ‘data’ from human research ‘subjects’ are cause for concern, not only for ethical reasons, but also because the process itself limits insight. Shamser Sinha and Les Back argue for a form of research that shifts the ordering of dialogue, where researchers can make observations about participants’ personal worlds and participants can shed light […]

Book Review: Constructing Research Questions: Doing Interesting Research

Traditional textbooks on research methods tend to ignore, or gloss over, how research questions are constructed. In this text, Mats Alvesson & Jorgen Sandberg seek to challenge researchers to look past the easy or obvious choices and create more interesting and rewarding questions. Joanna Lenihan feels that this is potentially a valuable and practical tool for researchers and could be integrated into […]

Book Review: The Future of Social Movement Research: Dynamics, Mechanisms, and Processes

Are the dynamics of contention changing? This is the question confronted by the contributors of this volume. The answers, arriving at a time of extraordinary worldwide turmoil, aim not only to provide a wide-ranging and varied understanding of how social movements arise and persist, but also engender unanswered questions, pointing to new theoretical strands and fields of research. The Future […]

October 6th, 2013|Book Reviews|1 Comment|

Book Review: A Tale of Two Cultures: Qualitative and Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences

In A Tale of Two Cultures, Gary Goertz and James Mahoney argue that qualitative and quantitative methods constitute different cultures, each internally coherent yet marked by contrasting norms, practices, and toolkits. The authors seek to promote toleration, exchange, and learning by aiming to enable scholars to think beyond their own culture and see an alternative scientific worldview. Those instructing research methods will […]

May 26th, 2013|Book Reviews|1 Comment|

Participant confidentiality and open access to research data

While protecting human subjects’ confidentiality is a long-standing practice in the social sciences, new types of digital datasets present new challenges. Tensions between privacy and openness were explored in the recent International Digital Curation Conference. Limor Peer reflects on the session she chaired on participant confidentiality in a time of open research data. While community efforts on establishing best practice are well […]

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