CFP: Russell Sage Foundation’s New Initiative on Computational Social Science

Call for Proposals: New Initiative on Computational Social Science

RSF’s initiative on Computational Social Science (CSS) will support innovative social science research that brings new data and methods to bear on questions of interest in its core programs in Behavioral Economics, Future of Work, Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration, and Social Inequality. We are especially interested in novel uses of new or under-utilized data and new methods for analyzing these data. Smaller projects might consist of a pilot study to demonstrate proof-of-concept. RSF encourages methodological variety and inter-disciplinary collaboration. Proposed projects must have well-developed conceptual frameworks and research designs. Awards are available for research assistance, data acquisition, data analysis, and investigator time for conducting research and writing up results (within our budget guidelines). Applications must be limited to no more than a two-year period, with a maximum of $150,000 per project (including overhead). A letter of inquiry must precede a full proposal to determine whether the proposed project meets RSF’s priorities under this special initiative.

The deadline for letters of inquiry is November 30, 2016 at 2pm ET. Click here for detailed information on the initiative, budget guidelines, and application requirements.

New datasets at ICPSR

36146 National Health Interview Survey, 2012

36173 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA): Loan Application Register (LAR) and Transmittal Sheet (TS) Raw Data, 2013

36399 Uniform Crime Reporting Program Data: County-Level Detailed Arrest and Offense Data, 2014

36463 Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement, 2013 [United States]

36476 Juvenile Residential Facility Census, 2012 [United States]

36498 Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study [United States] Public-Use Files

36512 Juvenile Residential Facility Census, 2014 [United States]

New PAR symposium on publicness and universities

Derrick Anderson of Arizona State University and I have written the introduction to a new PAR symposium on publicness and universities. It’s now out on Early View. Here’s our abstract:

This introduction to the symposium on the institutional design frontiers of publicness and university performance summarizes the range of diverse intellectual and practical perspectives converging on the idea that issues of design and publicness are important for thinking about the future of higher education. Collectively, the articles featured in this symposium demonstrate that the challenges facing higher education exhibit assorted social, economic, and political complexities. Public administration perspectives can play a key role in understanding and reshaping our higher education system into a more responsive social enterprise.

Learning about learning

Karl Weick has penned the 60th anniversary essay for the ASQ:

Jerry Davis’s (2015) question “What is organizational research for?” is ill-served by the narrow answer “settled science.” Constraints of comprehension may give the illusion that organizational research represents settled science. But the experience of inquiring actually comprises a greater variety of actions that increase the meaning of present research experience and the contributions it makes. I discuss acts of conjecture, differentiation, attachment, affirmation, complication, discernment, interruption, and representation to illustrate that meaningful contributions are generated by actions associated with connecting perceptions to concepts. ASQ’s 60th anniversary is an opportune time to make these interim contributions more explicit.

We’re rarely explicit about the nature of learning in PA. We are Bayesians, learning about a process that is itself moving in time. In classical inferential statistics, it’s thought that the parameters are fixed and the data are random. In Bayesian statistics, it’s reversed – the data are fixed and the parameters are unknown.

Sometimes we act as though everything that’s been done so far is wrong because our predecessors were dolts, used bad methods, were naive, etc. Maybe instead it’s because we are all operating inside a learning meta-process. We’re knitted together through time by our collective attempts (and misses) at learning about processes that change through time.

The upshot is that whatever we think is “truth” now will be revealed, at some later point, to be just as wrong as we think our predecessors were.

I’ve always been struck by the opposite – at the quality of many contributions from the 1950s or 1960s or even earlier time points given what they had to work with.

In any case, truth is far from settled and who knows what it will be ten years from now, but even so the Weick essay is a useful read for those trying to contribute to this body of knowledge.

JPART virtual issue on Citizen-State Interactions in Public Administration Research

In this virtual issue, we bring together a collection of research articles that—although not usually grouped together—all illustrate the importance of citizen-state interactions. Specifically, we include articles that directly incorporate citizens’ perceptions, attitudes, experiences of, or behavior related to public administration. About 10% of all JPART articles over the life of the journal so far (1991–2015) met our inclusion criteria. Of those articles, we selected seven for this virtual issue on the basis that they have offered important insights into citizen-state interaction at different stages of the policy cycle. We argue that public administration scholarship should focus much more on the role of citizens and citizen-state interactions at all stages of the policy cycle. This research should focus both on the different forms of interaction citizens have with administrators, and the outcomes of these interactions, for bureaucracy and for citizens themselves.

The issue is currently ungated.