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Undergraduate Research Methods Teaching in Political Science: A Comparative Perspective
Unformatted Document Text:  The survey concentrated on research universities because data from the United States indicates that those universities produce far more doctoral students (over 50% of the total between 1991 and 1995) compared to other types of universities such as comprehensive or liberal arts colleges and universities (National Science Foundation 1996). The universities included in the survey are selected from the top of various rankings and league tables, which either identify research universities explicitly or use criteria that will elevate the leading research universities into the top places. The particular accuracy of the rankings did not matter so much as broadly identifying a top tier of institutions within each country which potential postgraduates are most likely to attend. The sample in Australia consists of the top 25 universities listed in the current Shanghai Jiao Tong University (2006) ranking of world universities. The sample in Canada consists of the top 50 universities listed in the current Shanghai Jiao Tong University (2006) rankings. Universities in Spain were selected by surveying the top 25 universities listed in the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities (Cybermetrics Lab 2007). The United States sample consisted of the top 100 universities identified through current U.S. News and World Report (2007) university rankings for national research universities. The samples in Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden consist of all universities providing undergraduate political science degrees. Mandatory course requirements for undergraduate degrees or majors in each subject were gathered from university websites. The number of courses in quantitative methodology, general research methods, and student research projects were recorded, along with their credit weightings, using the course titles and descriptions from the websites and course catalogs. The following definitions were 5

Authors: Parker, Jonathan.
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The survey concentrated on research universities because data from the United
States indicates that those universities produce far more doctoral students (over 50%
of the total between 1991 and 1995) compared to other types of universities such as
comprehensive or liberal arts colleges and universities (National Science Foundation
1996). The universities included in the survey are selected from the top of various
rankings and league tables, which either identify research universities explicitly or use
criteria that will elevate the leading research universities into the top places. The
particular accuracy of the rankings did not matter so much as broadly identifying a top
tier of institutions within each country which potential postgraduates are most likely
to attend. The sample in Australia consists of the top 25 universities listed in the
current Shanghai Jiao Tong University (2006) ranking of world universities. The
sample in Canada consists of the top 50 universities listed in the current Shanghai Jiao
Tong University (2006) rankings. Universities in Spain were selected by surveying
the top 25 universities listed in the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities
(Cybermetrics Lab 2007). The United States sample consisted of the top 100
universities identified through current U.S. News and World Report (2007) university
rankings for national research universities. The samples in Finland, the Netherlands,
Norway, and Sweden consist of all universities providing undergraduate political
science degrees.
Mandatory course requirements for undergraduate degrees or majors in each
subject were gathered from university websites. The number of courses in
quantitative methodology, general research methods, and student research projects
were recorded, along with their credit weightings, using the course titles and
descriptions from the websites and course catalogs. The following definitions were
5


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