1 Preface and Acknowledgments

The idea for the graduate level version of this book grew over decades of teaching introductory and intermediate quantitative methods classes for graduate students in Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and the University of New Mexico. Despite adopting (and then discarding) a wide range of textbooks, we were frustrated with inconsistent terminology, misaligned emphases, mismatched examples and data, and (especially) poor connections between the presentation of theory and the practice of data analysis. The cost of textbooks and the associated statistics packages for students seemed to us to be, frankly, outrageous. So, we decided to write our own book that students can download as a free PDF, and to couple it with R, an open-source (free) statistical program, and data from the Meso-Scale Integrated Socio-geographic Network (M-SISNet), a quarterly survey of approximately 1,500 households in Oklahoma that is conducted with support of the National Science Foundation (Grant No. IIA-1301789). Readers can learn about and download the data here.

The idea of the undergraduate level of this book floated about amongst these various individuals until Fall 2019 when now Professor Wehde used the graduate level text in his undergraduate research methods course. He realized that, at times, the language of the text was at a higher level than necessary to introduce undergraduates in Political Science to research methods and statistics. This new version of the text omits large portions of the original text that focused on calculus and linear algebra, expands and reorganizes the content on the software system R and includes guided study questions at the end of each chapter.

By intent, this book represents an open-ended group project that changes over time as new ideas and new instructors become involved in teaching graduate and the undergraduate methods in the University of Oklahoma Political Science Department and beyond. The first edition of the book grew from lecture notes and slides that Hank Jenkins-Smith used in his methods classes. The second edition was amended to encompass material from Gary Copeland’s introductory graduate methods classes. The fourth (and a half) edition (this one!) was updated by Wesley Wehde, who currently manages and uses the book in his introductory quantitative methods courses for undergraduates in the East Tennessee State Political Science Department. The development of this version of the text was supported by an OER Award from the Sherrod Library at ETSU, as well.

In addition to instructors, the graduate assistants who co-instruct the methods courses are an essential part of the authorship team. The tradition started with Dr. Matthew Nowlin, who assisted in drafting the first edition in . Dr. Tyler Hughes and Aaron Fister were instrumental in implementing the changes for the second edition. Dr. Wesley Wehde was responsible for much of the third and 4.5 edition and Josie Davis did most of the work on the fourth edition.

This book, like politics and policy, constantly changes. Keep an eye on our GitHub repository for modifications and additions. You never know what you might find peering back at you.