Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Can the Biomedical Research Cycle be a Model for Political Science?

  • Evan S. Lieberman
Abstract

In sciences such as biomedicine, researchers and journal editors are well aware that progress in answering difficult questions generally requires movement through a research cycle: Research on a topic or problem progresses from pure description, through correlational analyses and natural experiments, to phased randomized controlled trials (RCTs). In biomedical research all of these research activities are valued and find publication outlets in major journals. In political science, however, a growing emphasis on valid causal inference has led to the suppression of work early in the research cycle. The result of a potentially myopic emphasis on just one aspect of the cycle reduces incentives for discovery of new types of political phenomena, and more careful, efficient, transparent, and ethical research practices. Political science should recognize the significance of the research cycle and develop distinct criteria to evaluate work at each of its stages.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Angrist, Joshua D. and Pischke, Jörn-Steffen. 2014. Mastering ’Metrics: The Path from Cause to Effect. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Ankeny, Rachel A. 2011. “Using Cases to Establish Novel Diagnoses: Creating Generic Facts by Making Particular Facts Travel Together.” In How Well Do Facts Travel? The Dissemination of Reliable Knowledge. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Dunning, Thad. 2012. Natural Experiments in the Social Sciences: A Design-Based Approach. Cambridge University Press.
Gehlbach, Scott. 2015. “The Fallacy of Multiple Methods.” Comparative Politics Newsletter 25(2): 1112.
Gerring, John. 2012a. “Mere Description.” British Journal of Political Science 42(04): 721–46.
Gerring, John. 2012b. Social Science Methodology: A Unified Framework. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.
Glennerster, Rachel. 2013. Running Randomized Evaluations: A Practical Guide. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Humphreys, Macartan, Sanchez de as Sierra, Raul, and Van der Windt, Peter. 2013. “Fishing, Commitment, and Communication: A Proposal for Comprehensive Nonbinding Research Registration.” Political Analysis 21(1): 120.
King, Gary, Keohane, Robert, and Verba, Sidney. 1994. Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Kovesdy, Csaba P. and Kalantar-Zadeh, Kamyar. 2012. “Observational Studies versus Randomized Controlled Trials: Avenues to Causal Inference in Nephrology.” Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease 19(1): 1118.
Munck, Gerardo L. 1998. “Canons of Research Design in Qualitative Analysis.” Studies in Comparative International Development 33(3): 1845.
Paluck, Elizabeth. 2010. “The Promising Integration of Qualitative Methods and Field Experiments.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 628(1): 59.
Rubin, Donald. B. 1974. “Estimating Causal Effects of Treatments in Randomized and Nonrandomized Studies.” Journal of Educational Psychology 66(5): 688701.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Perspectives on Politics
  • ISSN: 1537-5927
  • EISSN: 1541-0986
  • URL: /core/journals/perspectives-on-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed