Proseminar in Cross-National Studies: From Idea to Publishing in the Social Sciences

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  • 1. Proseminar in Cross-National Studies From Idea to Publishing in the Social Sciences Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow, Cross-National Studies: Interdisciplinary Research and Training (CONSIRT) Program
  • 2.
    • This is what the presentation will cover:
    • I. Structure/organization of empirical research articles
    • Content and Introduction sections
    • Theory and hypotheses sections
    • IV. Data and methods sections
    • V. Results sections
    • VI. Conclusion and discussion sections
    • VII. Framing papers for publication
    • Practical considerations for pursuing article length research
    • We will use the following research article as reference:
    • Guestzkow, Joshua, Michele Lamont and Gregoire Mallard. 2004. “What is Originality in the Humanities and the Social Sciences?” American Sociological Review 69(April): 190-212.
  • 3. I. Structure/Organization
    • The structure of empirical research articles most familiar to readers (and reviewers):
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Theory and hypotheses
    • 3. Data and methods
    • 4. Results
    • 5. Conclusion
    • 6. Appendix
  • 4. II. Content and Introduction
    • Articles should be as short as possible
    • Read as a reviewer – a hostile, picayune-minded reviewer – would read it
    • Be clear
    • Answer the question: SO WHAT?
  • 5. III. Theory and hypotheses
    • Empirical papers must go beyond mere description
    • Explicit, clear and concise definition of the main concepts
    • Connections between concepts must also be explicitly stated
    • Explicitly theorize each variable’s effect on the dependent variable
    • Clear hypotheses: Hypothesis 1: Controlling for household size, the greater the household income, the greater probability of attending university.
  • 6. IV. Data and Methods
    • Who : Units of analysis: individuals? Organizations? Countries?
    • What : Type of data: interviews? Survey? Participant observation?
    • When : Year(s) data was collected
    • Where : Where was data collected? Country or countries and relevant social, political and other historical context of the data
    • Why : Why is this data best suited to addressing your research question?
  • 7. IV. Data and Methods
    • Validity, reliability and biases must be explicitly stated
    • Method section must describe the procedure clearly; it should address concerns of those who are unfamiliar with the methods you use, and the specialists
  • 8. V. Results
    • Results should highlight major findings, and relevant minor findings.
    • All of these are foreshadowing for the conclusion and discussion section.
    • Each hypothesis must be addressed.
    • All parts of tables should be addressed.
  • 9. VI. Conclusion and discussions
    • Begin with a restatement of the goal of the paper and what data/methods are used.
    • Should contain a summary of the major findings and their implications for advancing theory or methods.
    • Should discuss the major limitations of the study. This is a good way to introduce suggestions for future research.
  • 10. VII. Framing papers for publication
    • Proper framing of the paper requires knowledge of:
    • A. The field
    • B. What’s in the literature, what’s not, and what is needed
    • C. The journals, specifically the types of articles they publish
    Ideally, you would write an article with one or two journals in mind.
  • 11. VIII. Practical considerations for pursuing article length research
    • Collaborate
    • Do
    • Seek Criticism
    • Accept Rejection, and Move Forward