Article first published online: 18 AUG 2009
© 2009 by American Sociological Association
Volume 39, Issue 1, pages xvii–xix, August 2009
How to Cite
(2009), EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION. Sociological Methodology, 39: xvii–xix. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9531.2009.01218.x
- Issue published online: 20 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 18 AUG 2009
This is the third volume of Sociological Methodology produced under my editorship and will be my last. In July, my term as editor will end, and Tim Liao of the University of Illinois will become the new editor. It has been my privilege to serve as editor of this outstanding journal, and I am grateful to the American Sociological Association for giving me this opportunity. I am sure that Tim will do a wonderful job as editor, and our office will work with his to make sure that the transition unfolds as smoothly as possible.
For the present volume, all of our decisions were based, as always, on highly selective recommendations of peer reviewers. Altogether, we considered 37 articles, of which we chose to publish 10. Eight more articles received revise-and-resubmit status, and we hope revised versions of some of these may appear in Volume 40. Overall, we found the quality of submitted manuscripts to be high.
In this volume, we have grouped the papers into four sections in which they seem to naturally fit. We begin with a section on data and measurements, which includes three papers. In “DNA Collection in a Randomized Social Science Study of College Peer Effects,” Guang Guo and his coauthors report the experience, and demonstrate the feasibility, of collecting DNA data as part of a traditional social survey. In “Estimating Net Interracial Mobility in the U.S.,” Anthony Daniel Perez and Charles Hirschman propose using a demographic accounting method for estimating net changes in racial identification over time. In “An Empirical Test of Respondent-Driven Sampling,” Cyprian Wejnert reports the experience of using the respondent-driven sampling method in a large study while being able to compare sampled data to population data.
Network analysis and spatial analysis are two key research areas in contemporary sociology. The second section of the volume focuses on these areas. It includes two papers. In “Paths and Semi-Paths,” Rick Grannis stresses the importance of directionality of social networks in conceptualizing structural cohesion. In “Exploiting Spatial Dependence to Improve Measurement of Neighborhood Social Processes,” Natalya Verbitsky Savitz and Stephen W. Raudenbush introduce an empirical Bayes method that utilizes spatial dependency to improve measurement of neighborhood characteristics.
The third section of this volume focuses on decomposition in hazard models. In “Effects of Exposure on Prevalence and Cumulative Relative Risk,” Lawrence L. Wu and Steven P. Martin explore the influence of exposure on prevalence and cumulative relative risk, decomposing its direct and indirect effects in a hazard model. In “Multivariate Decomposition for Hazard Rate Models,” Daniel A. Powers and Myeong-Su Yun extend the regression decomposition method widely used for linear regressions to the situation of hazard regressions.
Finally, we conclude the volume with three papers on regression analysis. In “How to Impute Interactions, Squares, and Other Transformed Variables,” Paul T. von Hippel finds that sophisticated imputation software can produce biased results when the intended analysis includes squares or interactions. He recommends a simple method that produces good results under a wide range of circumstances. In “Variance Function Regressions for Studying Inequality,” Bruce Western and Deirdre Bloome develop a regression method that explicitly models residual variance for studying inequality. In “Using Instrumental Variable (IV) Tests to Evaluate Model Specification in Latent Variable Structural Equation Models,” James B. Kirby and Kenneth A. Bollen compare the finite sample performance of different instrumental variable tests and demonstrate their usefulness as specification tests in evaluating structural equation models.
Although we were not able to publish every manuscript we received, we wish to thank all those who submitted articles for our consideration as well those who reviewed them or otherwise assisted with the review process. I wish to extend my special thanks to Cindy Glovinsky, my managing editor, Colter Mitchell, Eric Laber, and Debra Hevenstone, my editorial assistants, Stephanie Magean, our copy editor, and Raissa Xie, whose artwork appears on the cover. Thanks also to Jennifer Fortuna and the staff at Wiley-Blackwell who worked on this volume and to Karen Edwards, Janine Chiappa McKenna, and the American Sociological Association for their continuing support. We also wish to acknowledge generous financial support from the Department of Sociology, the Survey Research Center, and the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan.