7th Biennial ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference

Call for papers for the 7th Biennial ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference

The types of submissions considered include:

  1. Presentations where an abstract is reviewed (abstract in the conference proceedings). Plan for a 15 minute presentation delivered live via Zoom
  2. Short videos - including a student short video competition (abstract in the conference proceedings). Videos must be in a web ready format and be less than 5 minutes in duration. Videos to be published on the conference website.
  3. Panel - 90 minute roundtable / panel discussion
  4. Plenary - 90 minute keynote

The conference is organised around four themes:

  1. Research paradigms and designs;
  2. Research methods and techniques;
  3. Research technology and tools;
  4. Datasets, data collections and data archiving.

Sessions that have already been proposed include:

Set theory in social science: data, frameworks, methods and applications

  • Set theory plays an important role in analyzing data, operationalizing concepts and categories, analysing data structures or uncovering relationships of necessity and sufficiency between conditions and outcomes. Set theory is a powerful tool of data analysis because methods based on set theory are sensitive to case complexity, data heterogeneity and can uncover complex causal structures by searching for causal dependencies through an inferential logic based on Boolean algebra. This session invites submissions that investigate the multiple uses of set theoretic logic in social sciences. Particularly we will consider submissions that cast more light on the relationship between set theory and statistical models, set theory and cognitive science in concept operationalization, or provide new perspectives on the various set-theoretic methods for data analysis and inference such as qualitative comparative analysis, coincidence analysis, necessary condition analysis or Mill’s methods.

Using historical institutionalism as a method for qualitative process mapping in comparative politics

  • While there has been much debate about the theoretical strengths and weaknesses of historical institutionalism (one of the three main approaches of "new institutionalism"), there have been relatively few examples of the use of historical institutionalism as a method in comparative politics research. Yet historical institutionalism provides rich and rigorous ways to conduct process tracing when comparing institutions over time, particularly at the meso-level (industry or sectoral level) of analysis. This session is designed for researchers interested in adopting historical institutionalism as a method for conducting cross-national comparisons of politics and policies over time. The focus is on the use of historical institutionalism as a method of process tracing and a way to organise qualitative data in political science research. Participants will be introduced to the concepts of institutional theory, path dependency, punctuated equilibrium, critical junctures, momentum, and stasis. The approach will focus on developing quasi-experimental qualitative research projects to produce plausible (as opposed to falsifiable) explanations for cross-national institutional outcomes. At the end of this session, participants will have the skills and knowledge to develop their own model for adopting historical institutionalism as a form of process tracing in cross-national comparative politics research projects.

Telephone Surveys and Beyond in the Post-Modern Era

  • Telephone surveys have been the foundation of most high quality social science data collection for many years. However, the times are changing: mobile-only households are increasing rapidly, production rates have been dropping fast and costs are increasing greatly. At the same time, alternative methods have been become available in the form of probability-based online panels and address-based sampling. This session explores these challenges and presents options for future proofing social scientific data collection. Possible topics for discussion include: - Emerging issues in the use of telephone sample frames including limitations of the landline sample and considerations for optimal sample allocation across phone frames - Challenges and solutions in establishing contact with and securing cooperation of respondents via the telephone - Options for alternative methods, frames and modes e.g. address-based sampling with push-to-web and online data collections - Strategies for transitioning from the traditional dual frame RDD surveys

Open Source Tools for Survey Data Processing and Analysis

  • Traditionally survey researchers and analysts have used proprietary software such as SPSS, SAS and Stata for data processing and analysis, Excel and SurveyReporter for tabulation and Tableau and PowerBI for data visualisation and dashboarding. With the emergence of data science there has been an explosion in the availability of high quality and well maintained open source software to perform tasks at all stages of the survey research cycle. A vibrant community of analysts, statisticians, researchers and programmers contributes to open source projects, and many open source projects have capabilities far in advance of proprietary soutions. This session explores the use and development of open source tools for processing, analysis and presentation of survey data, both in theory and in the wild. Topics for discussion include: - Open source software stack for data processing - Using custom built libraries for domain specific processing - Engaging with the open source software community - Data visualisation and interactive reporting - Complex analysis using open source software - Using open source tools to automate complex process flows - Challenges in adopting/implementing open source solutions

Arts in health methodologies

  • This session will consider some of the rich and varied ways in which the arts can support existing approaches to research methods, and the translation and dissemination of data. These approaches are ideal for students, researchers, practitioners. Arts in health is a growing interdisciplinary field. Multiple methods are used to explore complex phenomena in health, wellbeing across contexts. In this session, we will outline arts in health as a research field, where and how it is currently being used using case examples and workshop on how to use arts in health methodologies as ways to gather, translate and disseminate data.

Knowledge translation – Methodologies and methods for impactful research

  • In this era of accountability, impactful research has never been more important. Governments and the universities they (part-)fund are required to demonstrate value. Yet, there is a disconnect between what scholars do, and positive changes they aim for. This suggests conventional methodologies and methods are inadequate – instead, innovative approaches are required to harness different knowledges to address global priorities – be it COVID-19, climate change, or chronic illness. This session focuses on the methodologies and methods that promote knowledge translation for impact. Papers within this session will demonstrate various approaches, particularly curious and/or creative ways to magnetise and coalesce the complementarity of different knowledges – from conventional forms, like that following empirical research, to unconventional forms, like cultural wisdom, and all that lie between. Approaches are participatory and transdisciplinary and serve to democratise scholarship. Examples include: arts-based methods – the visual, performative, or literary; positive organisational scholarship (POS), particularly in healthcare (POSH); and video-reflexive ethnography (VRE). Also welcome are papers that consider the dark-sides of knowledge translation, and its associated methodologies and methods. Consider, for instance: unintended effects for scholars, service providers, and/or (prospective) service users; and the perplexity of paradigmatic plurality. This session is aimed at experienced and emerging scholars and policymakers.

Please use these themes and sessions as guides as papers on any aspect of social science methodology will be considered. The conference attracts a wide variety of papers from HDR students to very established researchers. We encourage researchers at all levels to submit abstracts.

You can enter submissions until 2020-10-08 23:59 (Australia/Sydney), 2 weeks, 4 days from now.