Late submissions are not accepted.

Assignment 1: Plagiarism test (individual, 10% points)

The first assignment of this course is to pass the plagiarism test and obtain a certificate at the master and doctoral level. Plagiarism is a serious academic misconduct. You will receive zero grade on plagiarized work and there may be other consequences. We have been told not to do this maybe since primary school, and we are always assuming we know what plagiarism is. However, we may assume we know too much (e.g., Notable Cases of Plagiarism).

You do not need to take this test if you have comparable certification, but the validity of your certification needs to be approved by the instructor.

“All assignments in this course may be processed by TurnItIn, a tool that compares submitted material to an archived database of published work to check for potential plagiarism. Other methods may also be used to determine if a paper is the student’s original work. Regardless of the results of any TurnItIn submission, the faculty member will make the final determination as to whether or not a paper has been plagiarized” (Statement from the Faculty Writing Committee: Guidelines for Preventing Plagiarism).

Assignment 2: Annotation on weekly readings (individual, 5% points)

Assignment 3: Take-home assignments (individual, 30% points)

I have listed relevant DataCamp online modules after each week. You can choose the chapters or modules of your interests. Three chapters are counted as one course, and each course is worth 10% points.

Assignment 4: Lead discussion and analysis of empirical studies (individual, 15% points)

A sign-up sheet is available on Canvas.

  • You will lead the class discussion for a chosen week. A page of questions for discussion is due a week before the class.
  • You are expected to present an analysis of 2-3 empirical studies using the knowledge learned from the reading materials. The empirical studies can be research reports, academic journal articles, or any other evidence-based and data-driven studies/projects. The materials of the empirical studies need to be uploaded to the online course folder at least a week before class, and slides (e.g., PowerPoint Slides) for presentation are required (no due date). Example questions:
    • Research design questions: What is the research question? Where does the data come from? How does the author(s) operationalize the research question(s)?
    • Workflow and replication questions: How does the author(s) organize the files? Is the study replicable?
    • Validation questions: How does the author(s) validate the data? How does the author(s) validate the conclusion?
    • Critiques: How can the study be improved? Are there any methodological flaws? Are their any logical gaps?
  • Possible sources for finding empirical studies for replication purposes:
    • Google Dataset Search:
    • Harvard Dataverse:
    • Leading journals in various disciplines, e.g., American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, American Economic Review, Journal of Public Economics, American Journal of Political Science, and PNAS, etc.

Assignment 5: Data management project (group, 40% points)

Your group are expected to work with a client. Two deliverables:

Needs Assessment Questionnaire Needs Assessment Results by Clients

  • Project contract (10% points): project objective, deliverables, member responsibility, timeline, conditions of confidentiality, communication methods, signatures of team members and client representative. Draft due: 2/24 (5%); final due: 3/2 (5%).
  • Final report and presentation (30% points).