The Production of Knowledge: Enhancing Progress in Social Science

Colin Elman, John Gerring, James Mahoney

Research output: Book/Report/EssayBook

25 Scopus citations


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?.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages550
ISBN (Electronic)9781108762519
ISBN (Print)9781108486774
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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