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Quantitative Skills - Research Guide

This guide will help faculty, students, and researchers to use the Penn Library when researching mathematical statistics and statistical methods. It is intended to support course development in compliance with the College of Arts and Sciences Quantitative Skills Requirement, effective for the Class of 2002. More information concerning the Quantitative Skills Requirement and available resources is provided at two School of Arts and Sciences web pages: This guide emphasizes the application of quantitative methods in the behavioral and social sciences.

Materials containing statistical information are collected by several libraries, with Van Pelt (social sciences, including social statistics and social science research methodologies, humanities, including history and historical statistics), and Lippincott (applied economics and labor) Libraries being the best starting places. With these libraries, Math-Physics-Astronomy Library shares collecting responsibilities for materials on mathematical statistics and statistical procedures. The Population Studies Center's Demography Library, although not part of the Penn Library, is an invaluable resource for demographic research and methodology, particularly for Africa and other developing regions; use of the Demography Library is extended to graduate students, faculty, and staff of Penn's Economics, Sociology, and Regional Science Departments.

More detailed information on Penn Library holdings may be found in several Van Pelt Library Reference Department special bibliographies, available through the Penn Library Web or at the Van Pelt Library Reference Desk:

For internet research concerning mathematical statistics and statistical information, the Penn Library Web links to many online resources that may be useful:


  1. Getting started with the basics: dictionaries and encyclopedias
  2. Reading about quantitative skills: handbooks, guides to the literature, and bibliographies
  3. Reading about quantitative skills - Finding books with Franklin
  4. Reading about quantitative skills - Selected e-journals
  5. Reading about quantitative skills - Magazine article indexes and abstracts
  6. Curricular aids, including lesson plans


Dictionaries and encyclopedias are the best places to start when you're just beginning or need basic understanding. The entries in good encyclopedias will provide brief bibliographies, too. Use "Keyword Searching" in Franklin to find encyclopedias and dictionaries:

(dictionaries OR encyclop?) AND ...

Encyclopedia of statistical sciences. Nine volumes. New York: Wiley, 1982.
[Van Pelt Reference, Biomedical Reference: QA276.14 .E5]
The standard, comprehensive, encyclopedia for statistical theory and the applications of statistical methods in scientific activity, "intended primarily [for] readers who do not have detailed information about the topics but have encountered references ... that they wish to understand." Entries include bibliographic citations for additional reading. Includes subject index. Update in progress:
Encyclopedia of statistical sciences. Update. Three volumes (intended). New York: Wiley, 1997- . [Van Pelt Reference: QA276.14 .E5 Suppl. (volume 1-3)]

Vogt, W Paul. Dictionary of statistics and methodology: a nontechnical guide for the social sciences. 2nd edition. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1999.
[Van Pelt Reference: HA 17 .V64 1999]
A very good dictionary, written clearly and concisely. Handy to consult.

Other good dictionaries and encyclopedias for quantitative research are:

Marriott, F.H.C. (prep.) A dictionary of statistical terms. 5th edition. New York: Wiley, 1990.
[Lippincott Reference Desk: HA17 .K4 1990]
The best one-volume dictionary for mathematical statistics, produced under the auspices of the International Statistical Institute.

Everitt, B.S. The Cambridge dictionary of statistics. Cambridge University Press, 1998.
[Van Pelt Reference: QA276.15 .E84 1998]

International encyclopedia of statistics. 2 volumes. New York: Free Press, 1978.
[Van Pelt Reference and Van Pelt: HA17 .I63]
Not to be confused with ESS (supra), this encyclopedia is a useful compilation and expansion of articles on statistics, especially relevant for the social sciences, first published in the major reference work International encyclopedia of the social sciences. Entries include bibliographic citations. Includes index.

International encyclopedia of population. 2 volumes. New York: Free Press, 1982.
[Van Pelt Reference: HB849.2 .I61]
An excellent reference work for demography and population studies, including population statistics. Entries include bibliographic citations. Includes index.

Petersen, William and Renee Petersen. Dictionary of demography: terms, concepts,and institutions. 2 volumes. New York: Greenwood Press, 1986.
[Van Pelt Reference: HB849.2 .P47 1986]

Pressat, Roland (Christopher Wilson, ed.). The dictionary of demography. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
[Van Pelt Reference: HB849.2 .P7413 1985]

Encyclopedia of sociology. 4 volumes. New York: Maxwell Macmillan, 1992.
[Van Pelt Reference: HM17 .E5 1992]
Most disciplines are represented by a multi-volume encyclopedia that will include articles on quantitative topics.

Momeni, Jamshid A. Demography of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States: an annotated bibliography with a review essay. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1984.
[Van Pelt Reference: E184 .A1 M65 1984]

More specialized dictionaries on specific statistical methods or terms are also available:

Pereira-Maxwell, Filomena. A-Z of medical statistics: a companion for critical appraisal. London: Arnold; New York: co-published by Oxford University Press, 1998.
[Biomedical: RA407 .P4735 1998]
Encyclopedia of biostatistics. 6 volumes. New York: J. Wiley, 1998.
[Biomedical Reference: RA409 .E53 1998]

Saunders, John. Basic demographic measures: a practical guide for users. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1988.
[Van Pelt Reference: HB 849.4 .S28 1988]

Everitt, B. S. and T. Wykes. Dictionary of statistics for psychologists. (Arnold student reference series.) London: Arnold; New York: co-published by Oxford University Press, 1999.
[Van Pelt Reference: BF39 .E83 1999]
Yaremko, R.M. et al. Handbook of research and quantitative methods in psychology. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Assocs., 1986.
[Van Pelt Reference: BF76.5 .H34 1986]
Dictionary of "terms and concepts from research methodology, experimental design, testing and scaling, and statistics." Entries include illustrative examples. Includes tables for mathematical statistics procedures and values.

Young, Michael L. Dictionary of polling: the language of contemporary public opinion research. New York: Greenwood Press, 1992.
[Annenberg Reference: HM261 .Y684 1992]

Garwood, Alfred N and Louise L Horner (eds.) Dictionary of U.S. government statistical terms. Palo Alto, CA: Information Publications, 1991.
[Van Pelt Reference: HA 17 .D53 1991]
Compiles definitions of concepts used in federal statistics publications. A handy work that relieves the researcher from chasing through many glossaries and appendices.

International Labour Office. Sources and methods: labour statistics.
[Van Pelt Reference and Lippincott Reference: various locations]
Individual titles, e.g., on consumer price indices, employment, wages, household income, are cataloged separately in Franklin. Use "Keyword Searching":
"sources methods" AND labour

SourceOECD - Statistics Sources & Methods.
[SourceOECD via Penn Library Web]
Fulltext collection of OECD publications on statistical methodology, from 1998 to present.

READING ABOUT QUANTITATIVE SKILLS - Handbooks, Guides to the Literature, and Bibliographies

The body of literature concerning quantitative analysis is enormous. Handbooks summarize important techniques and findings, often offering practical information as well as providing bibliographies; Guides to the literature and bibliographies provide useful entry points into the research literature by evaluating and highlighting important or helpful books, articles, and other publications.


Newton, Rae R. and Kjell Erik Rudestam. Your statistical consultant: answers to your data analysis questions. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 1999.
[Van Pelt, Annenberg Reference: HA29 .N458 1999]
A very handy, programmed handbook oriented toward identifying relevant statistical procedures for specific research stages or purposes.

Miller, Delbert C. Handbook of research design and social measurement. 6th ed. New York: Longman, 2002.
[Van Pelt, Annenberg Reference: H62 .M44 2002]
Guide to research design; grant proposals; library, field, and laboratory research; statistical analysis, and sociometric scales and indexes. Claims to include "every digest of useful knowledge that behavioral science researchers need as a guide to their research requirements" as a "sourcebook for all the research steps in social research investigation", and does a pretty good job of achieving that claim! Provides lengthy bibliographies, extensive bibliographic analyses, and sample documents. Particularly strong on data collection, statistical analysis, and selected sociometric scales and indexes.

Morgan, Susan E., Tom Reicher, and Tyler R. Harrison. From numbers to words: reporting statistical results for the social sciences. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2002.
[Van Pelt: HA29 .M83165 2002]

Frederick Williams and Peter Monge. Reasoning with statistics: how to read quantitative research. 5th ed. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt College Publishers, 2001.
[Van Pelt: HA29 .W525 2001]

Smith, Robert B. and Peter K. Manning (eds). Handbook of social science methods. 3 volumes. Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger, 1982-1985.
[Van Pelt: H62 .H2457 1982 (volume 2)]
Treats social research generally, qualitative methods, and quantitative methods (survey research and causal modelling).
Maxim, Paul S. Quantitative research methods in the social sciences. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
[Van Pelt: HA29 .M2968 1999]

Hudson, Pat. History by numbers: an introduction to quantitative approaches. London: Arnold; New York: co-published by Oxford University Press, 2000.
[Van Pelt: DA16.17 .H83 2000]
Jarausch, Konrad and Kenneth A. Hardy. Quantitative methods for historians. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991.
[Van Pelt: D16.17 .J37 1991]

Reis, Harry T. and Charles M. Judd (eds). Handbook of research methods in social and personality psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
[Van Pelt Reference: HM1019 .H36 2000]
Leong, Frederick T.L. and James T. Austin (eds). The psychology research handbook: a guide for graduate students and research assistants. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 1996.
[Van Pelt Reference: BF76.5 .P795 1996]
Treats the research process at a basic level, with individual chapters covering research planning, design and instrument selection, data collection, data analysis, research writing, and special-topic components.
Mertons, Donna M. Research methods in education and psychology: integrating diversity with quantitative and qualitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 1998.
[Van Pelt: LB1028 .M3966 1998]

Rietveld, Toni and Roeland van Hout. Statistical techniques for the study of language and language behaviour. New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1993.
[Van Pelt: P138.5 .R554 1993]

Rossi, Peter H., James D. Wright, and Andy B. Anderson (eds). Handbook of survey research. New York: Academic Press, 1983.
[Van Pelt, Annenberg Reserve: HN29 .H294 1983]

Suleiman, Ramzi, Klaus G. Troitzsch, and Nigel Gilbert (eds). Tools and techniques for social science simulation. New York: Physica-Verlag, 2000.
[Van Pelt: H61 .T585 2000]

Sage university papers series. Quantitative applications in the social sciences. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications.
[Various locations, virtually all are at Van Pelt]
Franklin Keyword Expert search for the series
An extremely important and useful series. More than one hundred brief monographss have been published in this series; each title is devoted to a specific procedure, technique, or method, providing an overview, example applications, and validation techniques, with bibliography. A complete list of titles is provided by the SAGE Online web page.
Use "Keyword Searching" in Franklin to find titles in these series:
tkey sage AND tkey quantitative AND ...

Other similar handbook series are also available in the Penn Library:
Advanced quantitative techniques in the social sciences. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications.
Franklin Keyword Expert search for the series
Applied social research methods series. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications.
Franklin Keyword Expert search for the series
Measurement methods for the social sciences. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications.
Franklin Keyword Expert search for the series
Oxford statistical science series. New York: Oxford University Press.
Franklin Keyword Expert search for the series
Pine Forge Press series in research methods and statistics. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Pine Forge Press.
Franklin Keyword Expert search for the series
Qualitative research methods. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications.
Franklin Keyword Expert search for the series
Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole statistics/probability series. Pacific Grove, Calif.: Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole Advanced Books & Software.
Continues: Wadsworth statistics/probability series.
Franklin Keyword Expert search for the series
Wiley series in probability and mathematical statistics.
Franklin Keyword Expert search for the series

Guides to the Literature and Bibliographies

Young, Copeland H. et al. Inventory of longitudinal studies in the social sciences. Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage, 1991.
[Van Pelt Reference: H62 .Y667 1991]
Describes longitudinal studies, their principal publications, and their secondary literature.

Maier, Mark H. The data game: controversies in social science statistics. Second edition. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1995.
[Van Pelt: HA29 .M236 1995]

Kohler, Reinhard with Christine Hoffmann. Bibliography of quantitative linguistics = Bibliographie zur quantitativen linguistik = Bibliografiia po kvantitativnoi lingvistike. (Amsterdam studies in the theory and history of linguistic science. Series V, Library and information sources in linguistics 25.) Philadelphia: J. Benjamin, 1995.
[Van Pelt: P138.5 .K64 1995]

Use "Keyword Searching" in Franklin to find bibliographies on any subject:

skey bibliography AND ...

READING ABOUT QUANTITATIVE SKILLS -- using Franklin to identify and locate publications.

[Franklin via Penn Library Web:]

The best way to use Franklin is to search by Library of Congress subject heading. Some subject headings useful for researching quantitative methods in Franklin are:

analysis of varianceprobabilities
correlation statisticspsychometrics
distribution probability theoryregression analysis
econometricsrobust statistics
economics, mathematicalsampling statistics
experimental designscaling
factor analysissociometry
game theorysimulation methods
household surveyssocial surveys
mathematical statisticsspatial analysis
mathematicsstatistical hypothesis testing
multivariate analysisstatistics
nonlinear systemsstochastic processes
nonparametric statisticstime-series analysis

Library of Congress subject subheadings are useful for narrowing subject searches in FRANKLIN.

case studiesmathematical models
computer programsmethodology
computer simulationproblems, exercises
data processingsimulation methods
evaluationstatistical methods
graphic methodsvalidity

Keyword searching is very useful for combining different concepts into one Franklin search, for restricting searches to geographic areas, and for identifying Library of Congress subject headings, especially from known catch-phrases:

(markov OR stochastic OR "monte carlo method") AND (psychology OR cognition)
("social groups" OR "social networks") AND (mathematical OR statistical)
skey sampling AND "social surveys"
skey "problems exercises" AND (skey econ? OR skey microecon? OR skey macroecon?)

Keyword searching is also useful for restricting Franklin search results to specific formats:

"social sciences" AND skey mathematical AND skey bibliography
"mathematical statistics" AND skey tables
sociometry AND handbook?

The Penn Library Web provides a quick guide for searching FRANKLIN.


Penn Library Web e-journals for mathematical statistics
The Penn Library Web provides hyperlinks to fulltext for many electronic journals.

Understanding statistics. 2002-present. Lawrence Earlbaum.
[Penn Library Web (Ingenta Select), recent issues]
"Statistical issues in psychology, education, and the social sciences."
Social science computer review. Sage.
[Penn Library Web (ECO), recent issues]
Mathematical social sciences. Elsevier.
[Penn Library Web (ScienceDirect), recent issues]
"Emphasizes the unity of mathematical modelling in economics, psychology, political sciences, sociology and other social sciences."
American statistician. American Statistical Association.
[Penn Library Web (JSTOR), backfile]
[Penn Library Web (ABI/Inform), recent issues]
Popular magazine on statistics topics of general interest. Entertaining reading!
Journal of statistics education. American Statistical Association.
[Penn Library Web (AMSTAT)]
"An international journal on the teaching and learning of statistics."
Journal of artificial societies and social simulation. SimSoc Consortium.
[Penn Library Web]
"An inter-disciplinary journal for the exploration and understanding of social processes by means of computer simulation."



Penn Library Web databases and article indexes for Statistics
The Penn Library Web provides hyperlinks to databases that describe -- and in some cases, reproduce -- the literature on specific topics.

MathSciNet [Online]. 1940-present. Providence, R.I.: American Mathematical Society. Updates daily.
[MathSciNet via Penn Library Web]
Comprehensive indexing of the pure and applied mathematics monograph, journal article, and conference proceeding literature. Most entries include abstracts, many with critical reviews. MathSciNet corresponds to the print indexing and abstracting services:
  • Mathematical reviews. 1940-present (intended; July 1979-present currently online). Monthly.
    [Math/Physics/Astronomy: 510.5 .M422]
  • Current mathematical publications. 17 issues yearly.
    [Math/Physics/Astronomy: not currently received]
MathSciNet is arranged by Mathematics Subject Classification (1991-present) and Subject Classification Scheme (1940-1990). MathSciNet provides an online browseable directory for MSC and SCS classifications. An excerpt of MSC/SCS classifications regarding mathematical statistics and behavioral and social sciences mathematical and statistical applications is available.

Current index to statistics, applications, methods and theory. 1975-present. Washington, D.C.: American Statistical Association. Annual.
[CIS via Penn Library Web]
[Lippincott Reference: QA276 .A1 C87]
Comprehensive index to journal articles and monographs covering statistics. CIS's coverage of statistics periodicals overlaps extensively with MathSciNet's; however, CIS covers ASA conference proceedings and scans journals in other disciplines for articles of statistical interest. CIS's keyword subject index is moderately difficult to use; includes author index.

Tukey, John W. Index to statistics and probability. 5 volumes (numbered as "Volumes 2-6"). Los Altos, Calif.: R & D Press, 1973-1975.
[Lippincott: Z6654 .M33 T84 (volumes "2" through "5" only)
In part a predecessor to CIS, indexing "the great bulk of the literature of statistics and probability through 1966", i.e., 51 statistics journals completely and approximately 350 journals selectively, this work is extremely intimidating! "Volume 2" is a citation index excruciatingly difficult to use; Volumes "3" and "4" are indexes to article titles in keyword-in-context format, providing arcane codes for bibliographic citations listed in journal title order (!) in "Volume 5".

Statistical theory and method abstracts. 1959-present. Voorburg: International Statistical Institute. Quarterly.
[Not at Penn. Drexel's Hagerty Library Reference holds 1967-1992]
Comparable though somewhat less inclusive than CIS, STMA's classified arrangement (which includes sections for applications in other disciplines) and quarterly appearance makes it friendlier than CIS.
Kendall, Maurice G. and Alison G. Doig. Bibliography of statistical literature. 3 volumes. New York: Hafner, 1962-1968.
[Lippincott: Z7551 .K4 (vols. 1-2). Biomedical: Z7551 .K4b]
Bibliography of papers on statistical method and theory, arranged by author, extending coverage of STMA from 1958 back to the sixteenth century. Volumes 1 and 2 describe 1650 articles in 55 journals (12 indexed completely) from 1940 to 1958. Its arrangement by article author restricts its usefulness.

ISI Citation Indexes. ISI, 1945-present. Weekly updates.
[Online via Penn Library Web
General article index permitting searching through articles' cited references. Useful for searching for specific procedures or techniques based on the procedure's first formal publication.

Searching social sciences indexes and abstracts for quantitative skills

When researching quantitative applications in specific disciplines or subject areas, use a subject-oriented index or abstract to identify periodical articles rather than an index covering statistics journals. Indexes and abstracts are produced for virtually every academic subject, and they may be offered by the Penn Library in printed and electronic formats.

EBSCO MegaFile [Online]. Coverage varies; mostly 1990s to present. Updates daily.
[EBSCO MegaFile via Penn Library Web]
Covers all scholarly disciplines, with many general and popular magazines, and news sources. Indexes more than 16,000 periodicals.

EconLit [Online]. American Economic Association. 1969-present. Updates monthly.
[EconLit via Penn Library Web]
The principal abstracting tool for English-language books, articles, and working papers in economics. Searching for quantitative methods in EconLit is poorly regulated. Although EconLit's subject headings reflect the classified arrangement of its print counterpart, Journal of Economic Literature, EconLit subject headings were revised in 1991; records added to EconLit before 1991 are described only with pre-1991 subject headings, and records added after 1991 are described with both pre-1991 and 1991-revision subject headings. It's best to search EconLit through general searches that include subject-heading keywords as:

ERIC [Online]. 1966-present. Updates monthly.
[ERIC via Penn Library Web]
The OVID interface's "subject heading mapping" and "explode" features provide easy entry into ERIC's excellent subject heading vocabulary. Some useful broad subject headings include:
data analysisstatistical analysis
data interpretationstatistical bias
research methodology

PsycINFO [Online]. American Psychological Association. 1887-present. Updates monthly.
[ PsycINFO via Penn Library Web]
The OVID interface's "subject heading mapping" and "explode" features provide easy entry into PsycINFO's subject heading vocabulary. Some useful subject headings include:
empirical methodsmethodology
graphical displayspsychometrics
measurementstatistical analysis
Psychological Abstracts's classified arrangement has been reproduced in PsycINFO's classification codes. The code indicates an article's overall area of relevance. For quantitative research, the relevant classification codes are:
2200 Psychometrics & Statistics & Methodology
2220 Tests & Testing
2221 Sensory & Motor Testing
2222 Developmental Scales & Schedules
2223 Personality Scales & Inventories
2224 Clinical Psychological Testing
2225 Neuropsychological Assessment
2226 Health Psychology Testing
2227 Educational Measurement
2228 Occupational & Employment Testing
2229 Consumer Opinion & Attitude Testing
2240 Statistics & Mathematics
2260 Research Methods & Experimental Design
Search PsycINFO classification codes using the format,, where #### is the relevant classification code. The OVID interface does not offer "exploding" classification code searching: use "OR" to combine classification codes.

Sociological Abstracts [Online]. 1963-present. Updates six times yearly.
[SocAbs via Penn Library Web]
The principal abstracting service for sociological journal articles.
Corresponds to print-format Sociological abstracts and International review of publications in sociology [both at Van Pelt Reference: HM1 .S67], which covers more years, 1952-present, and Social planning, policy & development abstracts [Van Pelt Reference: HV40 .S643], 1979-(1993).
Relevant descriptors are:
empirical methodsresearch methodology
measurementsocial science research
methodology data analysissociometric analysis
quantitative methodsstatistics
Sociological Abstracts employs classification codes to indicate overall area of relevance. Classification codes for quantitative research are:
0100 Methodology & Research Technology
0103 Methodology (Conceptual & Epistemological)
0104 Research Methods / Tools
0105 Statistical Methods
0161 Models: Mathematical & Other
0188 Computer Methods, Media, & Applications

Population index. 1937-present. Quarterly, with annual indexes.
[Van Pelt Reference: HB 848 .P665]
[Online (1986-present) via Penn Library Web]
The principal abstracting service for demography and population literature, covering books and machine-readable data files, as well as 400 journals. Each quarterly issue includes a feature article reviewing the literature on a specific topic.

Bibliographie internationale de la demographie historique. 1978-present. Biennial.
[Van Pelt Reference: HB871 .B483 (1982-present)]
Indexes the periodical, book, and book chapter literature of historical demography.

CURRICULAR AIDS, including lesson plans

ERIC [Online]. 1966-present. Updates monthly.
[ERIC via Penn Library Web]
It's easy to find instructional aids and lesson plans in ERIC using the OVID interface:
  1. After a subject search, click on the "Limit" button.
  2. From the Publication Types menu, select "Guides for Classroom Use, Teacher".
  3. From the Educational Levels menu, select one or more appropriate levels; for example, "Postsecondary Education", "Two Year Colleges", "Higher Education Programs", "Graduate Study".

Sociological Abstracts [Online]. 1963-present. Updates six times yearly.
[SocAbs via Penn Library Web]
Use both subject terms and classification codes to identify instructional articles:
  • Appropriate subject terms:
    computer assisted instruction
    sociology education
    teaching method
  • Appropriate classification codes: - for "Sociology: history & theory - of professional interest (teaching sociology)"

Send mail concerning this page to:
Lauris Olson
Social Sciences Bibliographer
Room 203 Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center / 6206
215 / 898-0119 (phone)