Call for Proposals

Does quantitative research matter? If so, for whom? The introductory chapters of most quantitative research books, as well as the instructors using these texts, start with its importance. Quantitative research is important because its use increases knowledge about the relationship between variables and our understanding of the social world. Its systematic approach increases reliability and viability of the data and findings. Thus, findings via the quantitative approach influence social policies and improve the functioning of people on a daily basis.

What would the world look like without quantitative research? The lifestyle of nearly every human being on the planet is guided by research—from the medical advances in having children (in vitro fertilization), managing viruses (COVID-19 vaccines), developing educational initiatives, treating psychological disorders (e.g., depression & anxiety) to building the infrastructure of communities (bridges, houses, etc.). Since the beginning of time, such as in the building of the pyramids, quantitative research has guided the development of humanity.

Quantitative researchers across a wide variety of disciplines know that results gained through a quantitative approach matters, but who else? Despite the wonders of a numerical approach and its impact on our lives, even university students have been shown to have a skeptical or negative view about quantitative research. For example, Murtonen (2007; 2015) found that Finnish and U.S. university social science and education students had, in general, a negative orientation toward quantitative methods. Skepticism and low involvement in quantitative research have also been linked to perceived inequities, with scholars (e.g., Cokley & Awad, 2013; Goodwin, 2020; Graham, 1992; Guthrie, 2003) highlighting that quantitative research has long been considered to be a European approach and not to be trusted for its use with racial/ethnic minorities. Remember the Tuskegee Experiment.

Finally, the public appears to be skeptical of quantitative research. While no survey has captured the views of the public on this topic, there have been surveys on the public’s view of scientists, science, and research—the bulk of which is quantitative in nature. According to the Pew Research Center surveys in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2015, 79% of American adults noted that “science has made life easier for most people,” such as in the quality of health care, food, and the environment. This general finding has been fairly stable since the 1980s (Pew Research Center, 2020). Despite this acknowledgment, only about 51% of the American public had a “‘fair amount’ of confidence in scientists and just 13% have not too much or no confidence in this group to act in the public interest.” It would not be surprising that these numbers would also be reflective of the confidence in quantitative research and its application, from the creation of the COVID-19 vaccine to the education and psychology of its use. Similar findings have also been found worldwide (International Science Survey, 2019-2020; Pew Research Center, 2020). So where do these perceptions and beliefs leave quantitative researchers/scientists from various disciplines? Are we only useful at the academic level and dismissed as useful in daily living?

How do we address the question of skepticism and growing public distrust with quantitative research? What steps are quantitative researchers taking today to confront inequity? Where is quantitative research going, and how is it being used to better our neighborhoods and nations?

In part, to answer these questions, one goal of this conference is to initiate an interdisciplinary discussion on the importance of quantitative research and build a bridge between academic research and community application. Another goal is to address the issue of inequity that has surrounded quantitative research based on the historical treatment of racial/ethnic minorities and other minoritized populations. A final goal is to discuss building capacity of quantitative research world-wide so all populations will experience the benefit of science and to stimulate the attraction of new scholars into the field while restoring the trust in quantitative research.

About the Conference

This conference will be offered in a hybrid format, allowing for attendance to be either face-to-face or virtual. The physical conference will be held at the Fawcett Center at The Ohio State University, 2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, OH from June 1 through June 2, 2022.

Poster Submission Deadline has been extended to Saturday, April 16, 2022 (12am PST)

Presentation Format

At this time, we are expecting most presentations to occur face-to-face. However, this expectation is dependent upon the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and any local, state, and/or federal restrictions.

Below are detailed descriptions of the four themes of the conference.

Theme 1: Addressing Equity in Quantitative Research

A key theme of this conference is addressing the concept of equity in the context of quantitative research. We have identified four ways in which equity presents itself in quantitative research and noted them below:

  1. Equity through the lens of researchers
  2. Equity through the lens of methods
  3. Equity through the populations studied
  4. Equity through the training of diverse researchers

Additionally, addressing equity in quantitative research means (in a broad sense) confronting the challenges and misunderstandings surrounding quantitative research. These may include (but are not limited to) the following: fostering critical and curious quantitative researchers in an equitable manner, addressing challenges in the age of mass information, and/or addressing equity and quantitative research as it relates to misinformation and social technology. Submissions will be considered that start a discussion or reframe/reevaluate current quantitative methods to better incorporate equity into the research process.

Submissions on equity in quantitative research that fall outside of the scope of this definition will also be considered for the conference.


Theme 2: Building Capacity

The second theme addresses the need to build capacity for our world, locally and internationally, through quantitative research. We define capacity building as the process through which organizations and individuals provide quality tools, training, and resources to sustain and grow efforts to accomplish key organizational and/or stakeholder goals. When considering how capacity building within quantitative skills and research can be accomplished, we consider these elements:

  1. How do we build or manage the elements needed to educate?
  2. Who is included and excluded in the space to educate?
  3. How do we track the effectiveness and impact of developing quantitative researchers?

We understand that capacity building efforts cut across a wide variety of topics, including (but not limited to) public health, education, nutrition, environmental justice, and digital access. Submissions that fit this theme may address the processes and quantitative research done to build capacity within their own organizations, community groups, and/or academic collaborations. Submissions highlighting how people and organizations are getting others involved in quantitative research across communities, borders, and disciplines are strongly encouraged to apply. Additionally, submissions fitting this theme may highlight cutting edge work done to build capacity across borders of cities and states, as well as internationally.


Theme 3: Applying Research

Quantitative research spans a vast number of disciplines, programs, applications, and initiatives both locally and internationally. Quantitative research can also be found in the smallest of non-profits to the largest foundations on the planet. The third major theme addresses how and where quantitative research is applied within a variety of academic disciplines from local to international contexts. Submissions fitting this theme may include a focus on how applied quantitative research is resulting in equitable and/or interdisciplinary solutions to social problems in our world. Additionally, submissions may address or highlight how applied quantitative research ensures that diverse voices are included in the process, including but not limited to:

  1. Stakeholders
  2. Community leaders
  3. Community organizations/NGOs

Finally, submissions in this theme may also address how quantitative research findings can be presented with integrity and without marginalizing diverse constituents and communities.


Theme 4: Where the Rivers Meet: The Confluence of Equity, Capacity, & Research

Under the growing mistrust in research, quantitative researchers of all backgrounds cannot be complacent in our work to build the capacity for knowledge and bring equity into the conversation. Just as smaller tributaries flow into a raging river, so to must our call for equity, capacity, and research meet to forge a strong path ahead. This final theme works to build discussions on how we can address equity and capacity through quantitative research. Submissions submitted for this theme should be ready to discuss how these concepts interact and come together to bring about a better world. Additionally, submissions for this theme may to address the future, and where quantitative research can go to bring about a better future.


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