The Case Survey and Alternative Methods for Research Aggregation.

by William A. Lucas

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Suggestion that the cumulative function of research should itself be elevated to a central place in the political science profession and be required to meet the same standards of scientific rigor as any other type of inquiry. Three alternative approaches for aggregating research are presented: the propositional approach uses statements of relationship found in previous studies; the cluster approach pools datasets used in earlier research; and the case survey approach relies on descriptive information in case studies. Emphasis is on the case survey method which allows one to determine whether there are interactive effects present, and the analyst is not tied to the approaches or variables used in earlier work. The strengths and weaknesses of each approach are discussed, as well as the rules to be used in guiding aggregation. This paper was presented at the Conference on Design and Measurement Standards for Political Science, Delavan, Wisconsin, May 1974. 29 pp.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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