Introduction to Political Science Research Methods is a first-of-its-kind open education resource.

With chapter contributions from Dr. Charlotte Lee at Berkeley City College, Kau Vue at Fresno City College, Dr. Dino Bozonelos at Victor Valley College, Dr. Masahiro Omae at San Diego City College, Dr. Steven Cauchon at Imperial Valley College, and myself, the purpose of our open education resource is to provide students interested in or majoring in political science a solid introduction into the research methods of the discipline.

This textbook aligns with the California Community College’s C-ID Course Descriptor for Introduction to Political Science Research Methods in content and objectives. Additionally, support was provided by the Academic Senate for California Community College’s Open Educational Resources Initiative.

I want to share my personal experience and motivation for helping write this textbook. When I was a community college student, from 2003-2005, there was no introduction to political science research methods course, let alone a textbook. Without such an introduction, I wasn’t aware of the community of students, scholars, researchers, and practitioners of political science.

I struggled in my courses at the 4-year university when I was assigned a peer-review journal article, asked to interpret empirical analyses, or write a literature review for a research paper. I graduated and spent 5 years working in the California State Capitol and U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. In 2012, I returned to earn my Ph.D. in political science. Fair to say, the struggle returned.

I believe students should have the opportunity to introduce themselves to the research methods of our discipline in their first year or second year of post-secondary education. Thus, the purpose of our textbook is to afford students the opportunity to better prepare themselves for upper division political science courses and to seriously consider earning a Masters or Ph.D. in the discipline.

My sincerest hope is that this open education resource, which is free to students and faculty and available under the Creative Commons – Attribution – Noncommercial (CC BY-NC) license, serves as a spark which welcomes the next generation into the discipline.

Josh Franco, Ph.D.

June 2020