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Doing Pre-research

Pre-research is what one does before collecting data and estimating statistics. The pre-research phase of an empirical project is crucial to the project's success. In this phase, you investigate the status of extant knowledge in the scholarly community about your research question, including finding out what data exist and/or are commonly used for your concepts. You also develop a sense of where your proposed answer to the research question—your theory—fits into the literature. These important steps help you avoid unnecessary duplication of work. No one wants to reinvent the wheel, but the only way to avoid it is to go find out what we already know.

This chapter begins by reviewing the sections of a standard empirical paper, of the type that you ...

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