Daily we are bombarded by advice on how to succeed in political science. We are told what to read—everybody in Philadelphia reads World Politics, conclude media watchers Giles and Wright. We are told how to speak—practice phrases like “latent functional isomorphism” and “quasi-longitudinal typology,” concludes politico-linguist Betty Zisk, and success will be ours. We are even told where to dine—Tadich's or Sam's for fish in San Francisco, decrees gastronomical heavyweight Richard Brody.
Impeccable reading habits, a finely-honed vocabulary, and proper nutrition notwithstanding, we are in imminent danger of failure as political scientists unless we are able to establish our bona fides as data analysts. This requires that we master some canons of research methodology. Unfortunately, these methodological strictures have yet to be systematically codified. By presenting some basics of proper research methodology, by discussing some more sophisticated techniques (e.g., the Multiplicative N-Extender, the Levitating Measure Raiser), and by cataloguing some even more advanced routines (e.g., the Spontaneous Phytogeny Recapitulator, the Deviant Data Bender), the present exploratory study takes a tentative first step in the direction of a more systematic political science.