A student recently brought this paper to my attention. The abstract follows.
"The quantitative and qualitative research traditions can be thought of as distinct cultures marked by different values, beliefs, and norms. In this essay, we adopt this metaphor toward the end of contrasting these research traditions across 10 areas: (1) approaches to explanation, (2) conceptions of causation, (3) multivariate explanations, (4) equifinality, (5) scope and causal generalization, (6) case selection, (7) weighting observations, (8) substantively important cases, (9) lack of fit, and (10) concepts and measurement. We suggest that an appreciation of the alternative assumptions and goals of the traditions can help scholars avoid misunderstandings and contribute to more productive ‘‘cross-cultural’’ communication in political science."
Over at Balkinization Brian Tamanaha (Wash U) posted graphs endeavoring to describe law student enrollment and BLS data on legal employment trends (2001-09). Visually, the two graphs support Brian's assessment: "Law schools thus responded to the worst recession in the legal market in at least two decades by letting in more law students." As Brian Leiter (Chicago) notes, however, "One can't tell, though, from the second chart [and the underlying BLS data] what portion of the downturn in 'legal employment' is a reduction in the employment of attorneys as opposed to other law-related employees."
Over at The Faculty Lounge Al Brophy (UNC) has fun with the recent spat of various rankings (here). As Al notes: "A couple of things stand out here -- there's a high correlation between the Leiter ranks and the Sisk ranks (.7) -- but there's a really high correlation (.96) between the Leiter ranks and the US News peer assessment data. The Leiter voters and the US News voters are coming to very similar conclusions...."
Over at Concurring Opinions Lawrence Cunningham (GW) has an interesting post describing the newest effort to gauge "scholarly impact." Not yet sure what--if anything--to make of the Eigenfactor except to note the rather obvious point that it further evidences a collective compulsion to measure the difficult-to-measure.