I’m interested in best practices for research workflows for quantitative social science. The best book I have encountered on the subject is “The Workflow of Data Analysis Using Stata” by J. Scott Long (2008). As the title suggests, it is largely about working with Stata, but the author begins by discussing general characteristics of a good workflow: accuracy, efficiency, simplicity, standardization, automation, usability, and scalability. (It is also a decade old now, and does not discuss version control software, unit testing, etc.)

What other resources (books, websites, etc.) are helpful for designing research workflows for quantitative social science, both generally and for specific packages (Matlab, Python, R, ArcGIS, Stata, etc.), and what are the strengths and weaknesses of each such resource?

Working on my Master’s Thesis in Geography, and it is fairly standard to provide a “Study Area” section that describes the location of study.

  • I. Introduction
  • II. Study Area
  • III. Methods

I have some basic summary statistics about the Twitter data that I collected, such as the number of users from which tweets were collected using Method A in a specific geographic area as well as summary statistics, but also the count of users from tweets collected using a separate method, Method B for collection.

I would like to include this contextual data in this section, however it seems inappropriate to reference a method not yet introduced in the paper, would it be?
Additionally, what would be an appropriate way to do this.

I will be conducting research in a Latino-studies research institute next summer. I will probably be the only non-Latino researcher in the institute that summer. I’m also approaching my research from a computational sociological point of view, which is vastly different from the qualitative orientation of my peers’ research. I do wish to explore the field of Latino studies more and possibly even conduct research in it (of course as a respectful student who is outside the culture).

How can I not only conduct research but move up more into this world of Latino studies research without being disrespectful and giving precedence to those who not only research Latino studies, but are part of the culture?

I’m pondering a Masters (thesis) in Computer Engineering after I graduate undergrad. I also have a subject matter I want to research that will probably require a fellowship in order to conduct my Masters.

I want to explore a section of Computer Engineering that I can apply to Sociological and Ethnic studies ( the particulars of what that is isn’t important here ). I have a sociological research institute in mind that is perfect to help my research into what I want to do for my Masters. I want a fellowship in this institute because its the preeminent leader in its field and it intersects perfectly with what my research would be about.

The thing is, I don’t know if they would even take me in the first place. Yes, I have a degree in Sociology but my Masters work is in engineering. Would it be in the norm for a research institute ( especially one in the Social Sciences ) to offer a fellowship to someone who isn’t in their field? I’m going to be a Engineering Master’s student who wants to conduct research in a Social Science field.

I am writing a briefing paper, and it only consists of facts and citations. Literally every sentence is a quote or a link to another source.

The topic of the paper is pretty much covered and there are no problems with a structure of it (my supervisor told that). The problem is that it is too dry.

How do I add my own comments to it?

I struggle expressing my own thoughts and I do not have an experience with writing. I do not feel like I am qualified to comment on such topics, in some way I feel like adding my own point of view is not right, as everyone should make their own conclusions from the given information. Am I wrong?

A PI I might potentially apply to is planning on making three or so offers. Said PI only has a few students at present which I think is the reason for their doing so.

I worry that I will not get my hands on very many projects and will not have enough time with the PI. So my question is: How detrimental is a large lab cohort to a graduate students’ success?

I think it is important to mention that this is a social-sciences PhD program with cohorts of around ten or fewer. This situation seems unique as the PI needs students this year. Most labs only take one student per year.

I’m a physics instructor. I also teach math and coding classes, so I’m firmly from the STEM cluster side of the force.

I’m taking a class from the social science side of things (After about 15 years of working with adult learners, I’m working on my teaching credential to work with at a local high school) that sometimes has some really interesting readings and videos, but sometimes the class delves deep into Post-Modern narrative construction.

The question, then, is how can I fulfill the class requirements and write scholarly and intelligent analyses of these writings that seem to be lacking in both facts and logical reasoning? And at the same time, I’d like to avoid antagonizing my instructor.

I’ve always felt like “the more you put into a class, the more you get out of it”, so I don’t like to just do the bare minimum to get a grade. But I really don’t know how to deal with this scenario.

How do you plan your day? How much time in a day do you spend studying/ reading/ doing actual research? Do you work on weekends?

update: I would be more interested in experiences of researches with a Social Science/ Humanities background. I often feel that I do not spend enough time on studying (I am a Masters’ student), and also I am thinking about getting a PhD, so I just want to know how much time a professional researcher spends doing actual research.

I’m getting way ahead of myself, but being nervous on the job market I asked an advisor what happens should a candidate receive zero job offers. To which the reply was, “That never happens.”

I’m sure that some people have had this experience before. I’m in the social sciences in a discipline that is very competitive with fewer than normal options outside of academia. I still have a ways to go time wise for job expectations, but I am curious about what options others may have gone for in situations where they either received no offers or none that were more appealing than something else that wasn’t planned.

My assumption is that people will shoot for adjunct positions or similar options should nothing else come along, and try again in following years. Can anyone speak to being in this kind of position, or knowing someone who has gone through it?

Of course I expect and hope not to be in this position, but I am planning for everything. Others have told me that they apply for upwards of 70 positions in a year, which to me is insane (I don’t know how assured I could be in the quality of that many applications). I have probably applied for 20-25 positions thus far, so I don’t know if I should be approaching the process differently. And in the worst case situation, where to go from there?