About Sage Research Methods Foundations

About Foundations

Social Science Research Methods are now so extensive and so diverse that no scholar can be an expert in all the techniques all the pioneers, and all the underlying epistemological and philosophical issues. Foundations has been compiled by experts, with contributions from the best scholars in the world. It brings to readers accessible introductions to the most important research methods used in the social sciences. Every entry is a gateway to discovering the basics , and then going beyond them into specialist literature. The project also includes biographical entries on pioneers of social science methods that improve our understanding of the history of research methods. 

Foundations is ideal for novice, undergraduate readers to new PhD students and Early Career Researchers, and useful for all researchers at any lever who need to find out about a topic or scholar where their current expertise needs supplementing.

Editorial Team


Paul Atkinson

Paul Atkinson is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Cardiff University. Recent publications include For Ethnography (2014), Thinking Ethnographically (2017), and Writing Ethnographically (2019). The fourth book in his Sage quartet will be Crafting Ethnography. The fourth edition of Hammersley and Atkinson Ethnography: Principles in Practice was published in 2019. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and of the Learned Society of Wales. He and Sara Delamont were the founding editors of Qualitative Research.

Sara Delamont

Dr Sara Delamont FAcSS, FLSW, DSc Econ is Emerita Reader in Sociology at Cardiff University, Wales. She was the first woman President of BERA (The British Education Research Association) and was given their John Nisbet Award in 2015. The British Sociological Association gave her their Lifetime Service Award in 2013. She and Paul Atkinson were the founding editors of the Sage Journal Qualitative Research, and she is co-author of Embodying Brazil New York: Routledge.

Alexandru Cernat

Alexandru Cernat is an associate professor in the social statistics department at the University of Manchester. He has a PhD in survey methodology from the University of Essex and was a post-doc at the National Centre for Research Methods and the Cathie Marsh Institute. His research and teaching focus on: survey methodology, longitudinal data, measurement error, latent variable modelling, new forms of data and missing data. You can find out more about him and his research at: www.alexcernat.com

Joseph W. Sakshaug

Joseph W. Sakshaug is the acting head of the Statistical Methods Research Department at the Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, a professor in the Department of Statistics at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, and a professor in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Mannheim. He is also adjunct research assistant professor at the University of Michigan and faculty member in the International Program in Survey and Data Science. His research interests include the design and analysis of complex surveys, data integration, and empirical research methods.

Richard Williams

Richard Williams is professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame. His work has appeared in the American Sociological ReviewSocial ForcesSocial ProblemsDemography, and Sociological Methods and Research. Recent research by Williams has looked at issues involving the analysis of categorical data, for which he won the 2015 Stata Journal Editors’ Prize. Other work has focused on racial, economic, and institutional disparities in home mortgage lending in the United States.

Associate Editors

Malcolm Williams

Malcolm Williams has been a Professor at Cardiff University since 2010.  His substantive research interests have included household formation and dissolution and the pedagogy of quantitative methods.  However, his principle interests lie in methodological issues in social research, particularly realism, probability and objectivity, areas in which he has published widely.

Luke Sloan

Luke Sloan is a Professor in the School of Social Sciences and Deputy Director of the Social Data Science Lab, at Cardiff University UK (http://socialdatalab.net/). His work focusses on exploring how social media data, specifically from Twitter, can be used for social scientific analysis.

Robin Smith
Robin Smith is currently a Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the Cardiff School of Social Sciences where he teaches modules concerning ethnography, everyday (urban) life, interactionist theory, qualitative research methods, and ethnomethodology. 

His research is influenced by the work of Harold Garfinkel, Harvey Sacks and Erving Goffman. Projects have focused upon membership categorisation practices and everyday mobilities. These projects have included an ethnography of urban outreach work with the street homeless, a study of social scientific reasoning, and studies of mobile interaction and spatial categorisation practices in cycling and walking.

Jennifer Prattley

Dr Jennifer Prattley is a statistician with experience across a range of research domains including stratified medicine, ageing and frailty, social exclusion, and life course studies. She has expertise in analysing longitudinal data; multilevel models; prediction modelling, and penalized regression. Jennifer maintains an interest in statistics and mathematics education, and the teaching of advanced methods to non-specialists.

Raphael Nishimura

Raphael Nishimura is Director of Sampling Operations at the Survey Research Operations of the Survey Research Center (SRC) in the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan. He is also faculty member in the Summer Institute in Survey Research Techniques at SRC-ISR and in the International Program in Survey and Data Science. He holds a PhD in Survey Methodology from the University of Michigan. His main research interests include sampling methods, survey nonresponse and adaptive/responsive designs. 

Editorial Board

  • Louisa Allen, University of Auckland
  • Jennie Brand, UCLA
  • David Byrne, Durham University
  • Giuseppina Cersosimo, University of Salerno
  • Tarani Chandola, University of Manchester
  • Paul Clarke, University of Essex
  • Eldad Davidov, University of Cologne
  • Peter Davis, University of Auckland
  • David de Vaus, University of Queensland
  • Rick Delbridge, Cardiff University
  • Norman Denzin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Ed Dunn, ONS UK
  • Mark Elliot, University of Manchester 
  • Nigel Fielding, University of Surrey
  • Gary Alan Fine, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
  • Stuart Fotheringham, Arizona State University
  • Stuart Fox, Cardiff University
  • Elizabeth Griffiths, Rutgers School of Criminal Justice
  • Martyn Hammersley, The Open University
  • Karin Hannes, KU Leuven
  • John Hattie, University of Melbourne
  • Same Hillyard, University of Durham
  • Katy Huxley, Cardiff University
  • Jasso Guillermina, NYU
  • Melanie Jones, Cardiff University
  • Harold Kincaid, University of Kincaid
  • Hubert Knoblauch, University of Berlin
  • Mirka Koro-Ljungberg, Arizona State University
  • Frauke Kreuter, University of Maryland
  • Margarethe Kusenbach, University of South Florida
  • Ken Land, Duke University
  • Scott Lynch, Duke University
  • John MacInnes, University of Edinburgh
  • David Martin, University of South Hampton
  • Peter Martin, University College London
  • Matthew McBee, East Tennessee State University
  • Betsy McCoach, University of Connecticut 
  • David Mills, University of Oxford
  • Wendy Olsen, University of Manchester
  • James Moody, Duke
  • Daniel Powers, University of Texas
  • Rajeev Rajarem, Kent State University
  • Ian Rees Jones, Cardiff University
  • Jude Robinson, University of Glasgow
  • Julie Scott Jones, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Ian Shaw, University of York
  • Natalie Shlomo, University of Manchester
  • Mel Slater, UCL
  • Manuel Souto-Otero, Cardiff University
  • Patrick Sturgis, University of Southampton
  • Martin Tolich, University of Otago
  • Max travers, University of Tasmania
  • Phillip Vannini, Royal Roads University
  • Darin Weinberg, Kings College University of Cambridge
  • Dick Wiggins, UCLA IRIS


The Cardiff Editors and Associate Editors wish to thank our department The School of Social Sciences (SOCSI) at Cardiff University, Wales UK and the two heads of department during the editorial work, Prof Amanda Coffey FAcSS and Prof Tom Hall, for providing a secure and supportive base for the work. The editorial board included a core of Cardiff staff from several departments. The Cardiff office was run during the period 2016 – 2019 in turn by Angela Jones, Patrick Mullan, Aleksandra Dragojlov and Julius Jeh aided by Mrs Rosemary Bartle Jones, supported by Sarah O’Keeffe and Sandra Bonney, senior administrators in SOCSI and Zoe Kind our IT support.

Work on the project was based on a long tradition of methodological development and innovation in the department, which made it a firmly rooted endeavour. Among the important developments before this project were the establishment of the Sage Journal Qualitative Research in 2000, and the ESRC Centre QUALITI headed by Prof Amanda Coffey between 2005 and 2008, part of the ESRC investment in a national centre for research methods. Also important were the ESF 27 nation program to develop qualitative methods across Europe between 2006 and 2010 headed by Professor P.A. Atkinson; the Nuffield Foundation, ESRC and HEFCE funded Q-Step program which began in 2013, led by Prof Malcolm Williams FAcSS; the Sage Qualitative datasets project led by Dr Jamie Lewis between 2014 and 2016, and WISERD (The Welsh Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods) headed by Prof Ian Rees Jones FAcSS 2013 – 2019.

The late Paul Vogt of Illinois State University was one of the original quantitative editors, until his untimely death in 2017. He brought the knowledge gained in his distinguished scholarly career and his enthusiasm to the project. Professor Melissa Hardy of Pennsylvania State University joined the editors in 2015, contributing to the quantitative side of the project until ill-health led her to withdraw in 2017. The Cardiff editors have received support above and beyond the normal expectations placed on all editorial board members from David Byrne, Nigel Fielding, Martyn Hammersley and Ian Shaw, to whom we are very grateful.

The Cardiff team: Professor Paul A. Atkinson FAcSS, FLSW, FRAI and Dr. Sara Delamont FAcSS, FLSW (EDITORS) and Dr. Robin James Smith, Dr. Luke Sloan and Professor Malcolm William FAcSS (associate EDITORS).