Research Methods I:

Research Design

Crim 860 - Fall 2023

[Last updated 30 November 2023]
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08 September


* The Methods Stream(s) in SFU/Criminology

* Course Syllabus

* Get your free copies of NVivo 14 (download) and SPSS 26 (lab access)

* Other software available to grad students/faculty/staff

* Other funded opportunities for grad students to keep in mind

* SFU Learning Commons Workshops

* A couple of questions

15 September


* Background Reading: Preface and Chapter 1 (Perspectives on Research) from Research Methods in the Social & Health Sciences (RMSHS)

* Palys (1989) Addressing the "Third Criterion"

* Dahler-Larson (2023) The Practical Utility of Mixed Methods

GETTING STARTED: Research Ideas, Research Questions, Sources of Data

* Background Reading: Chapter 2 (Getting Started: Developing Research Ideas) from RMSHS

* Brancati (2018) Conducting a Literature Review

* Becker (1993) How I learned what a 'crock' was

* Assignment 1: Sampling – due before class of 22 September

22 September


* Background Reading: Chapter 5 (Sampling & Recruitment) from RMSHS

* Becker (1998) Sampling

* Loseke (2017) Samples

* Road Trip! We visit Yolanda Koscielski of the Library Research Commons regarding resources for Crim students (11:15 AM in Library Room 4009).

29 September


* Background Reading: Chapter 3 (Ethics in Social Research) from Research Decisions (2014)

* ASSIGNMENT 2: Ethics. Complete the TCPS ethics 9-module tutorial at if you have not done so already. The Secretariat suggests it will take about 4 hours in total. Send your certificate of successful completion to Prof before this class.

* Brown (2018) Ethical Challenges to Research in the Criminal Justice System

* Palys & Lowman (2019) Eight challenges to research confidentiality in Canada

* Download VeraCrypt for your Windows, Mac and/or Linux operating systems

* Codes of Ethics:

* Code of Ethics of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences

* Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans

* SFU Policy R20.01 (2019). Ethics Review of Research Involving Human Participants

* A good week to get your abstract ready for WSC? Deadline is October 8th

06 October


* Gould (1981) Craniometry (Excerpt from The Mismeasure of Man)

* Harris (2017): 'Sexist and racist': Indigenous inmate takes prison security tests to the Supreme Court

* Davies (2017). How statistics lost their power – and why we should fear what comes next

* Palys & McGuire (2023) Measuring crime.

* Assignment 3: Creating Items for an Attitude Scale

13 October


* Background Reading: Chapter 12 (Archival Sources) from RMSHS

* Bernard (2013) Scales and Scaling

* Gardner (2018) StatsCan may be dull, but it’s a vital institution

* Kosinski (2013) Predicting traits from digital records

* Cadwalladr & Graham-Harrison (2018) How Cambridge Analytica turned Facebook ‘likes’ into a lucrative political tool

* Assignment 4: Indexes and Scales

20 October


* A copy of the data from Survey Monkey is here

* Here is the list of all the items in the order they appeared in the survey

* Here is the SPSS file of our data

* Here are the PowerPoint slides detailing next steps

* Here are the slides giving the Spearman-Brown Formula and showing where you can find Cronbach’s Alpha in SPSS

* And here is Assignment 5 (actually still 4) due either 27 October or November 03 (your choice)

27 October


* Background Reading: Chapter 6 (Eliminating Rival Plausible Explanations: The Experiment) from RMSHS

* Festinger (1953) Laboratory Experiments

* Campbell & Stanley (1963) Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Research (read to page 33)

* Boruch (2012) Deploying randomized field experiments in the service of evidence-based crime policy

* Class guest: Dr. Rylan Simpson, to talk of his use of experimental methods in Criminology

03 November


* Background Reading: Chapter 7 (From Manipulative to Analytic Control: Quasi-Experimentation) from RMSHS

* Campbell (1969) Reforms as experiments

* Hutchinson (2019) Evaluation Failures: Conclusion

* Background Reading: Chapter 8 (Case Study Approaches) from RMSHS

* Stake (2003): Case studies

* Maxwell (2013) Validity: How Might You be Wrong?

* Career Trajectories I: Our guest will be Dr. Dawn Rault, a member of faculty hired in the Teaching stream

10 November


* Noaks and Wincup (2004): Doing Research on Crime and Justice: A Political Endeavour?

* Cunneen, Rowe & Tauri (2017) Indigenous Epistemologies and Methodologies

* Miner (1956). Body Ritual Among the Nacirema

* Lowman (2016) Expert Testimony in Bedford and McPherson

* Career Trajectories II: Researcher as Expert Witness/Advocate/Public Academic as well as Researcher as Methodologist/Research Coordinator. Guest is Chris Atchison.

* ASSIGNMENT 6: Do an interview (as outlined in class) and submit 1-page report on or before the evening of 16 November

17 November


* Background Reading: Chapter 9 (Surveys & Questionnaires) and Chapter 10 (Interviews) from RMSHS

* AAPOR (2020) Best practices for survey research

* Godderis & Root (2023) Centering Reciprocity and Accountability in Community-Based Research

* Good resources for question wording and question types:

* Robinson & Leonard (2019) Sourcing and Crafting Questions

* Robinson & Leonard (2019) Special Purpose and Sensitive questions

* Introduction to NVivo

* Career Trajectories III: Our guest will be Dr. Amanda Butler, SFU/Crims’ newest appointment in the Research stream

24 November


* Background Reading: Chapter 11 (Observation, Ethnography and Participatory Action Research) from RMSHS

* Cresswell (2016) Conducting a Good Observation

* Jordan (2003) Who Stole my Methodology? Co-opting PAR

* Madison (2005) Critical Ethnography

* Dupont (2008): PAR with marginalized populations

* Class Guest: Dr. Tamara O’Doherty, to talk of her use of PAR in her research on the sex industry

* ASSIGNMENT 7: NVivo Report -- due before class on 01 December

01 December


* Background Reading: Chapter 15 (Disseminating Your Research) from RMSHS

* Hewitt et al (2016) The "Art" of Writing Papers for Criminology Journals

* Liebenberg (2016) Writing to Learn: Why We Should Write, Rewrite, and Rewrite Again

* Davis (1971) "That's Interesting" (synopsis only)

* Sousa & Clark (2017) Getting the most out of academic conference attendance

* Reddick (2016) Using social media to promote scholarship

* ASSIGNMENT 8: Choose Your Poison: Door#1  Door#2  Door#3 – all due 11 December