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The Production of Knowledge
Enhancing Progress in Social Science


Part of Strategies for Social Inquiry

John Gerring, James Mahoney, Colin Elman, Richard Swedberg, Evan Lieberman, Tim Liao, Lee Cojocaru, Garret Christensen, Edward Miguel, Diana Kapiszewski , Sebastian Karcher, Alan M. Jacobs, Jeremy Freese, David Peterson, Dan Reiter, Tasha Fairfield, Andrew Charman, Sebastian Karcher, Brendan Apfeld, Dawn Teele, Neil Gross, Christopher Robertson
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  • Date Published: March 2020
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108708289

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About the Authors
  • Whilst a great deal of progress has been made in recent decades, concerns persist about the course of the social sciences. Progress in these disciplines is hard to assess and core scientific goals such as discovery, transparency, reproducibility, and cumulation remain frustratingly out of reach. Despite having technical acumen and an array tools at their disposal, today's social scientists may be only slightly better equipped to vanquish error and construct an edifice of truth than their forbears – who conducted analyses with slide rules and wrote up results with typewriters. This volume considers the challenges facing the social sciences, as well as possible solutions. In doing so, we adopt a systemic view of the subject matter. What are the rules and norms governing behavior in the social sciences? What kinds of research, and which sorts of researcher, succeed and fail under the current system? In what ways does this incentive structure serve, or subvert, the goal of scientific progress?

    • Comprehensively examines elements of the production of knowledge that inhibit the cumulation of knowledge
    • Covers a range of social science disciplines, including economics, political science, psychology, sociology, and related fields
    • Written in a fluid and accessible manner for a broad academic audience
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Social science is simultaneously more successful and more troubled than ever before.  This welcome collection of essays, on different aspects of the social structure of social science, is helpful for understanding what's gone wrong and how we can do better. Andrew Gelman, Professor of Statistics and Political Science, Columbia University

    Many of society's biggest challenges and greatest opportunities depend on understanding social behavior. With such challenges in mind, contributors to this volume describe a systemic approach to social science knowledge production that is simultaneously level-headed and visionary. The book not only develops diverse and dynamic conceptions of what researchers can “know”, but also offers cogent advice about what institutions can do to increase the value of such knowledge. The stakes inherent in understanding human behavior are high. The service that social science can provide to society is great. For those who seek to contribute to society by energizing and advancing social science research, this book is a vital reference. Arthur Lupia, Hal R Varian Collegiate Professor, University of Michigan

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108708289
    • length: 566 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 174 x 30 mm
    • weight: 1.01kg
    • contains: 11 b/w illus. 20 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction John Gerring, James Mahoney and Colin Elman
    Part I. Discovery:
    2. Exploratory Research Richard Swedberg
    3. Research Cycles Evan Lieberman
    Part II. Publishing:
    4. Peer Review Tim Liao
    5. Length Limits John Gerring and Lee Cojocaru
    Part III. Transparency and Reproducibility:
    6. Transparency and Reproducibility: Conceptualizing the Problem Garret Christensen and Edward Miguel
    7. Transparency and Reproducibility: Potential Solutions Garret Christensen and Edward Miguel
    8. Making Research Data Accessible Diana Kapiszewski, Sebastian Karcher
    9. Pre-registration and Results-Free Review in Observational and Qualitative Research Alan M. Jacobs
    Part IV. Appraisal:
    10. Replication for Quantitative Research Jeremy Freese and David Peterson
    11. Measurement Replication in Qualitative and Quantitative Studies Dan Reiter
    12. Reliability of Inference: Analogs of Replication in Qualitative Research Tasha Fairfield and Andrew Charman
    13. Coordinating Reappraisals John Gerring
    14. Comprehensive Appraisal John Gerring
    15. Impact Metrics John Gerring, Sebastian Karcher and Brendan Apfeld
    Part V. Diversity:
    16. Gender Diversity Dawn Teele
    17. Ideological Diversity Neil Gross and Christopher Robertson
    VI. Conclusion:
    18. Proposals John Gerring, James Mahoney and Colin Elman

  • Editors

    Colin Elman, Syracuse University, New York
    Colin Elman is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Qualitative and Multi-Method Inquiry in the Maxwell School, Syracuse University. He co-founded (with Diana Kapiszewski, Georgetown University) the Qualitative Data Repository.

    John Gerring, University of Texas, Austin
    John Gerring is Professor of Government at University of Texas at Austin. He serves as co-PI of Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) and the Global Leadership Project (GLP).

    James Mahoney, Northwestern University, Illinois
    James Mahoney is the Gordon Fulcher Professor in Decision-Making at Northwestern University, where he holds appointments in Political Science and Sociology.  He is founding director of the Comparative-Historical Social Science (CHSS) program at Northwestern.


    John Gerring, James Mahoney, Colin Elman, Richard Swedberg, Evan Lieberman, Tim Liao, Lee Cojocaru, Garret Christensen, Edward Miguel, Diana Kapiszewski , Sebastian Karcher, Alan M. Jacobs, Jeremy Freese, David Peterson, Dan Reiter, Tasha Fairfield, Andrew Charman, Sebastian Karcher, Brendan Apfeld, Dawn Teele, Neil Gross, Christopher Robertson

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