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Historical Research

Running Head: UNDERUSED HISTORICAL RESEARCH

Historical Research: Invaluable but Underused in Current Public Policy


Tamara Checkley

Ross Coupé

Melanie Foster

Charlotte Stange


This Assignment represents original work and does not contain the work of others without correct attribution. We have read and understand the University of Victoria’s rules on plagiarism. We have not violated these rules.
University of Victoria

Executive Summary

Historical research can contribute to evidence-informed policy development; however, it is underused by Canadian governments. The historical method involves the use of existing data sources to examine trends over time. This method is often used in collaboration with other methods and can be quantitative or qualitative. Historical research requires careful scrutiny of sources and a comprehensive understanding of context. It is most often descriptive and qualitative, therefore subject to measures of trustworthiness and rigor. Careful historical research can identify important historical factors that are relevant to current public policy issues; for example, Helps (2005) linked historical research to the contemporary issue of homelessness in Victoria, British Columbia.

Historical Research: Underused but Invaluable to Current Public Policy Development


Although many believe it belongs only in the realm of academics, historical research can inform policy and contribute to evidence-based decisions about a present and future course of action. However, both government and non-governmental organizations underutilize this research method. Shafer (1969) described the historical approach as “a concern for change over a significant period of time, for the directions or trends that may appear in such a period, and for those unique qualities, persons or events that may either sum up an age or stand out from it” (p. 1). A focus on trends over time can enable policy makers to learn from their mistakes and avoid “inventing the wheel over and over” (Dawn Nickel, personal communication, September, 19, 2008). The application of historical knowledge to modern day problems may lead to a fundamental shift in thinking; learning from the lessons of the past can lead to policy successes in the future.

The historical method is difficult to define. Garranghan (1946) defined the historical method as “a systematic body of principles and rules designed to aid effectively in gathering the source materials of history, appraising them critically, and presenting a synthesis (generally in written form) of the results achieved” (p. 33). Cantor (1967) noted, “History is what the historian does. And what the historian does is to obtain information about the past and then make judgements about the significance, meaning, importance, and relevance of these bits of information. It is because historians make judgements about the information they have that they disagree on the definition of historical method” (p. 18). The difficulty of defining the historical method stems from the fact that there is no one methodology to carry out historical research.


Qualitative and Quantitative?


Historical research can be both qualitative and quantitative, depending on what sources are being used and how those sources are being used. The quantitative aspect of historical research “provides a means for verifying general statements”(Fay, 1998, p. 3). Quantitative research often involves statistical calculations of data; this process can be limiting when analyzing history, as it is difficult to find enough information to encompass a large enough sample size. A quantitative methodology could be used to examine voting trends in early parliament to highlight change over time in Canadian voting patterns. Quantitative methods could also be used to examine population movements across Canada and labour force needs in the early 1900s as a means of investigating how and why ethnic gangs came to Vancouver.

While using quantitative methodology in historical research is useful and important, the historical method is most often associated with a qualitative and descriptive methodology. Qualitative historical research involves analyzing documents and materials to establish an understanding of time and place. Gabrielian defined qualitative research as “attempting to make sense of, or interpret, phenomena in terms of the meaning people bring to them in a natural setting” (2008, p. 142). Although qualitative data is often criticized for not being a hard science and thus inherently biased, it can provide important information to policy makers. An example of its use in modern policy making is using Aboriginal oral history from the North West Coast to show the importance of salmon for both social and economic relationships between Aboriginal groups. Based on this evidence, policy dictating salmon retention on traditional Aboriginal land may be different than for recreational fishermen elsewhere.


Key Features of the Historical Method


Withholding bias, using an objective and analytical eye to choose sources, avoiding generalizations, abandoning preconceived notions, and writing to the facts provided are key elements of the historical method. Sources, whether primary, secondary or tertiary, will often dictate whether or not one will be able to maintain the key elements of the method. Secondary sources, which are most often interpretations of primary sources and are written after the fact, frequently bear the bias of the writer at that point in history. Thus it is important to use a variety of sources to sort out conflicting evidence. All sources should be included, even those that contradict what a researcher is trying to prove. For example, a historical overview of abortion in BC from the turn of the century to present day, to inform current abortion policy, would have to be done in a way that ensures that sources gathered are not written through a moral or activist lens. Researchers must strive to be unbiased in their data analysis and ensure that the presentation of their research is based on evidence rather than personal views.

The Historical Method in Practice


Researchers are increasingly relying on more than just one method when undertaking historical research (Krathwohl, 1993); the historical method is generally used in collaboration with other research methods. The relationship between the historical and other methods can be described in two ways: Historical research borrows techniques from other fields (Krathwohl, 1993), and it is used to supplement research being primarily done via other methods (D. Nickel, personal communication, September, 19, 2008).
Using Existing Data

The historical method refers to the study of a time before the present through the use of existing records and data (Jones, 1985). In this method no new data is created, save for the compilation and re-codification of data gathered from the past. Rowney (1969) further clarifies that the historical study of public opinion “means the use of procedures to secure data from documents that the researcher locates and selects but does not create, directly or indirectly. By selecting documents, and so to speak, ‘interrogating’ their authors, historical researchers generate data designed to answer questions about past public opinion” (p. 26).

A sub-type of the historical method is documentary research. Documentary research is geared specifically towards research of records, including but not limited to: photographs, film, audio disks, videotapes, statistics, unemployment data, production data, and marriage applications (Calvert, 1991, Jones, 1985). While it is known predominantly for its contribution to the history discipline, the method can also be used in studies that involve comparison with a period before the present. This use of documentary research is most beneficial to the field of public policy. An advantage of using data that was originally gathered for a different purpose than your current research is that it is not possible to bias the data collection process (Jones, 1985).

When gathering historical data, the steps involved to ensure the quality of a source are more extensive than in other methods, where information on the quality of data is either more readily available or the data has been personally collected and thus the circumstances have been documented along the way. Preferred data for historical research are primary sources: “books, papers and other documents that were produced by the people being studied during the time when the action you are studying was actually in progress” (Calvert, 1991). Secondary sources may also be consulted. The value of historical sources is a function of the length of time between when they were written and the time at which the event they are describing took place; the greater the length of time, the lower value the source has (Calvert, 1991).

The Steps of Historical Research


Initial steps in the historical method include deciding on a topic, undertaking a preliminary literature search, and establishing a research question. The researcher moves from information gathering to question formulation and back again, to a reformulation of the original question and so on. This process narrows down the research area to a feasible size. Once a research question has been established, the components of a historical study, or the historical portion of a multi-method study, are generally sequenced as follows: formulating a problem and developing a hypothesis; determining the value of evidence; and inferring relationships (Krathwohl, 1993).

The first step is similar to that of any other research method, and involves a dynamic process of formulation and reformulation as data is gathered in the initial stage. This stage also involves determining the extent of existing research to ensure you expand on, rather than repeat, research. While this step is common to all research, historical researchers must pay particular attention to the feasibility of their proposed study in terms of accessibility to sufficient sources and evidence to either validate or invalidate the hypothesis (Krathwohl, 1993).

The second step of historical research is the most time consuming. Determining the value of evidence involves the technical aspect of ensuring the document is authentic. Paper quality and age, as well as ink type, are the two central measures used at this stage. The importance of this step in determining the value of evidence is highlighted in the example of the forged Hitler diaries (Krathwohl, 1993). Had the researchers not been diligent in ensuring the diaries’ authenticity, a very different and inaccurate understanding of history would have emerged.

Calvert (1991) lays out a further series of questions a researcher must answer to assess the value of data and sources. These will be examined in the following paragraphs. The question of determining the connection between the author and the event addresses how close the author may have been to the event, as well as the quality of his or her observation. Assessing the background of the author on the basis of education, political affiliation, and other relevant life information helps uncover any biases he or she may have had at the time. The bias of the author does not render a document completely unusable, but this bias must be taken into account when performing historical research.

Assessing what a record is trying to illustrate may address the biased purpose of some records. For example, many memoirs are written to cast the author in a positive light. Early government documents also cannot be assumed to be accurate simply by virtue of being government documents; not all governments have always had the capacity to produce accurate statistics (Calvert, 1991). Using written correspondence as a source can be similarly problematic. Although they may have been written at the correct time and place, letters discussing an event are only useful to the extent that the author was informed when writing them. The author’s intent and capacity is therefore important. The greater the number and variety of sources that corroborate the same event in the same way, the greater is the likelihood that the findings are accurate.

The final issues that Calvert (1991) proposes a researcher should address are the questions of accurately interpreting the precise meaning of a document and of assessing the researcher’s own bias to a source or a subject. Interpreting a document is the act of determining the exact meaning of individual words as they were originally used, not as they are used today. Understanding the context in which the document was written is useful for interpreting its meaning. The researcher’s own biases must also be considered, along with how they might relate to an assessment of the topic being studied (Calvert, 1991). The above questions and considerations in determining the value of a source comprise the most exhaustive of the three steps of historical research. However, once evidence has been assessed the relationships between the factors, if any, must still be determined. Here the historical researcher has the advantage of hindsight when taking into account the possibility for multiple causes of the same event (Krathwohl, 1993). A perceived relationship can be strengthened by repeated occurrence in the literature and by a variety of supporting sources.

In the field of public policy, the aim of the researcher is not to determine the precise cause of an event or policy problem. Instead, the goal of the researcher may simply be to better understand a problem and the variety of factors that have influenced how the issue has evolved into what it is today. Policy problems are generally the result of a variety of socioeconomic and situational factors, which historical research takes into account.

Advantages of Applying Historical Research to Public Policy


Objective examination of history provides important evidence that can be used to inform public policy. Climate change is an example of a current policy issue that requires historical research. Climate change cannot be viewed as a sudden and unpredictable event; it must be investigated in terms of its historical context. As previously discussed, history is concerned with trends over time. Policy on climate change is informed by historical trends over centuries in areas such as greenhouse gas levels, temperatures, and levels of precipitation.

The historical context of climate change, however, is not limited to environmental data. Historical trends in human behaviour and attitude, including past public responses to environmental policies, should also inform policy on climate change. According to the Research Centre for Environmental History and Policy at the University of Stirling, “society’s responses to pressures and the rationale behind past decision-making are there for us to understand and learn from — public opinion and the willingness to change patterns of behavior are just as important for future environmental good practice as understanding the scientific mechanisms of environmental change (2007).”

The historical method can be used to evaluate the relationship between public policy and human behaviour over time. For example, it can be used examine the relationship between tobacco policy and smoking behaviour. Berridge, Director of the Centre for History in Public Health, University of London, has investigated the cultural transformation behind smoking policy in the U.K. from 1945-2007. “In the 1940s the government gave tobacco tokens as an economic supplement to old age pensions; in the late 1990s, nicotine replacement therapy was free to those in deprived areas as a remedy for inequality” (Berridge, 2007). Berridge has examined the factors behind the historical change in U.K. smoking policy and argues that her research could have implications for other public health issues, such as alcohol use.

Unlike Berridge, governments rarely look back as far as 1945 when developing policy. Canadian governments tend to be forward-looking (D. Nickel, personal communication, September, 19, 2008). Policy decisions “are too often driven by inertia or short term political pressures” (Zussman, p. 64). Canadian governments could benefit from looking back; historical research can help policy-makers consider potential ramifications of new policies. Creating a new policy to solve a problem often creates more problems, sometimes of larger magnitude than the original problem (D. Good, personal communication, September 12, 2008). A diligent public policy maker ensures that new problems created are of a smaller magnitude than those being solved.

The historical method can help researchers discover important factors that underlie current problems and help policy makers avoid “band-aid” solutions. For example, investigating Aboriginal oral history and journals of early fur traders may uncover important factors in current land claim negotiations and contribute to the development of long-term solutions between Aboriginal and Canadian governments.

The historical method’s use of pre-existing data gives it the advantage of being non-reactive, or unobtrusive (Calvert, 1991). Reactive research can influence behaviour; for example, interviewing people on the eve of an election to study voter apathy may influence voter turnout. In contrast, historical research does not influence outcomes.


Difficulties of Using Historical Research in Public Policy


Governments are pressured to provide results within tight time constraints and historical methods can involve a significant investment of time. Governments “are often required to make a policy decision based on an informed guess today instead a waiting for a more complete answer” (Zussman, pg. 69). These time constraints contribute to the vast underutilization of historical research in policy development.

Accessing historical documents can be time intensive. Some documents have been scanned and made available online, but most can only be accessed by visiting archives (Piotrowski, 2008). Accessing federal government records can involve a trip to the Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa, or to one of the regional offices, located in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Halifax. The time required to access historical sources limits their use in policy development. However, this process of acquiring pre-existing data may not seem as time intensive when compared to various methods of creating new data, such as surveys or focus groups.

Another limitation of the historical method is the difficulty of document management (D. Nickel, personal communication, September, 19, 2008). Because archives have a limited amount of space, they cannot accept every document nor can they keep every document they accept (Piotrowski, 2008). This space limitation results in significant gaps in documentation. A researcher “can never be 100 percent certain of what material is missing or what framework was used to decide which pieces to keep and which to discard” (Piotrowski, p. 281). The researcher must try to piece together the documents that have survived, which is a time-consuming process.

Documentation management is becoming easier with digitization. Zussman argues “recent developments in electronic file management open huge and interesting possibilities for good governance” (2003, p. 65). Library and Archives Canada facilitates the management of federal government documents and collaborates with other government departments to establish smart practices for information management (Library and Archives Canada, 2008).

In addition to issues of accessibility and documentation management, historical research has some ethical implications. Some sources may contain personal information and may require informed consent to be used (Piotrowski, 2008). The process of obtaining informed consent adds time to the research process, which can be undesirable for time-constrained governments. However, some other forms of research, such as experimental and quasi-experimental research, may have wider ethical implications requiring even more time.

Issues in Validity and the Importance of Context


Historical research may employ quantitative research methods. For example, a researcher may use existing survey data to investigate and quantify trends in Canadian youth smoking behaviour over time. The researcher must ensure that the existing survey research is both internally and externally valid. A measure, such as a survey, is internally valid if it actually measures what it intends to measure; it is externally valid if its findings can be generalized to different groups or settings (Giannatasio, 2008). In the survey of Canadian youth smoking behaviour, the research would be internally valid if it accurately quantified the participants’ smoking behaviour. It would be externally valid if its findings could be generalized to all Canadian youth within the specified timeframe. There are various threats to both internal and external validity in quantitative research methods; discussing them is beyond the scope of this paper. It instead focuses on validity in qualitative research, as historical research is more often qualitative.

Some researchers “have argued that the term validity is not applicable to qualitative research” (Golafshani, 2003, p. 602). Nickel, Director of Research, BC Ministry of Labour and Citizens Services, has said that validity is not a useful word for historical research methods (personal communication, September 19, 2008). However, qualitative researchers have acknowledged that there is a, “need for some kind of qualifying check for their research” (Golafshani, p. 602). Many qualitative researchers “have developed their own concepts of validity and have often generated or adopted what they consider to be more appropriate terms, such as quality, rigor, and trustworthiness” (Golafshani, p. 602).

Trustworthy historical research requires a comprehensive understanding of the historical context surrounding a particular document. Scott (1990) has argued that government documents are never “merely neutral reports of events” (p. 60). These documents “are shaped by the political context in which they are produced and by the cultural and ideological assumptions that lie behind it” (Scott, p. 60). Nickel has pointed to the importance of knowing who wrote the historical document and what their intention was (personal communication, September 19, 2008). Historical documents should “be viewed as purposeful communication” (Piotrowski, 2008, pp. 281-282). As previously discussed, the researcher should critically analyze the document within its historical context and consult documents from varying perspectives.

Rigorous historical research requires validation of one source with other sources. Triangulation in qualitative research is the process of searching for common themes within different sources of information (Golafshani, 2003). This validation procedure allows the researcher to make stronger conclusions (Piotrowski, 2008). Maximizing validity increases the generalizability of a study (Golafshani, 2003). More specifically, establishing trustworthiness in historical research increases the ability to apply the findings of a study to public policy.


Homelessness in Victoria: An Example of Historical Research


Helps’ 2005 Master’s Thesis: Bodies Public, City Spaces: Becoming Modern Victoria, British Columbia, 1871- 1901 is a good example of the historical method in practice and demonstrates the importance of historical research in policy making. Helps examines city building in Victoria between 1871 and 1901, focusing on people and places becoming “public” (2005).

Summary of Bodies Public

Bodies Public did not examine the past simply for the sake of examination. Instead Helps clearly articulated that her study was important to understanding a contemporary issue. She asked,

Have [the homeless] always been here? If we were to have traversed the streets of nineteenth-century Victoria, British Columbia, would we have encountered them? Do the homeless, their bodies and the public space, to which they lay claim have a history? (Helps, p. 2)

As previously discussed, linking the past to the present is essential for historical research to be relevant to policy making. To answer her research question, Helps investigated the evolving treatment, regulation, and definition of vagrants, drunks, and other “undesirables” between 1871 and 1901 (2005). Helps linked the evolving classification of vagrants with the growth of the city and the establishment of a public identity; vagrants were antithesis of and obstructions to the “public.” She argued that her historical research could contribute to a re-evaluation of the conventional conception of homelessness and the way in which homeless peoples are treated in present day Victoria.

Historical Methods in Bodies Public


In Bodies Public a number of historical research sources were used and their benefits and limitations discussed. Helps relied largely on archived documents, primarily local police court reports, where the majority of vagrancy charges were heard (2005). However, she did not simply take these reports at their face value, and instead placed them in a historical context. To establish the historical context, she used other official documents, such as city council minutes and prison documents. Helps used prison documents to establish how prisoners were fed and, by proxy, how they were respected in Victoria near the turn of the century.

Helps relied on newspaper articles from the local paper, The Daily Colonist. She used these articles to avoid a strict “top-down analysis,” which is often the result of relying solely on official documents (Helps, 2005, p. 48). While newspaper articles are a good source of public opinion and events during the period, they also have some limitations. Historical documents, especially historical newspapers, are not always accurate sources of facts and can even be purposefully misleading. Helps found contradictory articles in The Daily Colonist. She described a number of news stories from the 1890s extolling Victoria as being virtually free of impoverished people and blessed with a large number of charitable foundations. She then contrasted these images with news articles from the same paper, which reported over-taxed charities, poor children being found on the streets, and elderly care homes being used to house the poor.

In order to describe the societal makeup of 1870s-1900s Victoria, Helps drew on the unofficial census reports. The census was an important source for establishing whether there were racial or gender factors in vagrancy charges when compared to the larger society (Helps, 2005). Helps also pointed out the limitations of using these documents:

As with all historical sources, the census is a product of the time and place in which it is created; the questions asked and the answers given respectively reflect the ideologies of the census makers in Ottawa and the respondents in late nineteenth century colonial British Columbia. (p. 48)

This quote is a poignant reminder that historical documents cannot be interpreted solely from a contemporary perspective.

Linking Bodies Public to Public Policy


The current homelessness situation in Victoria has received a great deal of attention from varying levels of government over the last few years. In 2007, the Mayor of Victoria established a task force to examine homelessness issues and present a report on how best to address them (City of Victoria, Executive Summary, 2007). The importance of using historical research in public policy is made clear by comparing the information set out in Helps’ Bodies Public and the reports produced by the Mayor’s Task Force. The Task Force lists the root causes for the homelessness in Victoria as “substance use, mental health, poverty, cognitive impairment, [and] FASD [foetal alcohol spectrum disorder]” (City of Victoria, p.7). As is often the case with public policy, the Task Force’s reports were strongly forward looking, ignoring much of the past. However, the Task Force did examine the last 15 to 20 years to find trends in funding and deinstitutionalization (City of Victoria, Report of the Steering Committee, 2007). Using this information, the Task Force was able to analyze the recent increases in the homeless population but not the long-term trends that have allowed homelessness to exist in the city.

Helps’ research could have added a broader historical context to the Task Force’s findings and fostered an understanding that homelessness is not a new phenomenon to Victoria but has been a part of the city in previous centuries. Bodies Public could have served as a good backdrop with which to present the Task Force’s findings. For example, Helps’ historical perspective on the issue suggested that homelessness is inherently tied up in the societal construction of public space and how it is used (2005). It should be noted however, that it would be difficult for a policy team with limited time and funding, such as the Mayor’s Task Force, to fully delve into the historical archives to gain a comprehensive historical context on vagrancy and homelessness.


Conclusion


Canadian governments have undergone a recent shift towards evidence-based policy making. This shift “is a response to a perception that governments need to improve their decision making in a world typified by rapid change and scarce resources” (Zussman, 2003, p. 64). As we move away from ideological policy-making and into a more pragmatic approach (Solesbury, 2001), historical research can be invaluable.

The historical method does not involve a regimented process; it uses a variety of different sources and lends itself to other methodologies. Once researchers have validated their sources, historical documents can provide a wealth of information for policy makers. While underutilized by government, the historical method can provide important insight into seemingly modern problems, such as homelessness in Victoria. Examining historical factors behind current issues can contribute to evidence-informed policy.


Suggested Readings

Cantor, N. F., & Schneider, R. I. (1967). Chapter 1. How to study history (pp. 1-16). New York:

Crowell.
Golafshani, N. (2003). Understanding Reliability and Validity in Qualitative Research [Electronic Version]. The Qualitative Report, 8, 597-607.
Helps, L. (2005) Bodies public, city spaces: becoming modern Victoria, British Columbia,

1871-1901. Master’s thesis, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Retrieved September 27, 2008, from Dissertations & Theses @ University of Victoria database (Publication No. AAT MR07020).
Krathwohl, D. R. (1993). The historical method and after-the fact natural experiments.

Methods of educational and social science research: an integrated approach (pp. 501-523). White Plains, NY: Longman.
Martin, R (1998). Progress in historical studies. In B. Fay, P. Pomper, & R.T. Vann (Eds.),

History and theory: contemporary readings (pp. 377-403). Massachusetts: Blackwell.
References

Berridge, V. Smoking and the sea change in public health, 1945-2007 (2007, June).



History and Policy. Retrieved September 27, 2008 from http://www.historyandpolicy.org/papers/policy-paper-59.html

Cantor, N. F., & Schneider, R. I. (1967). How to study history. New York: Crowell.

Calvert, P. (1991). Using documentary sources. In G. Allan & C. Skinner (Eds.), Handbook

for research students in the social sciences (pp.117-127). Bristol, PA: The Falmer Press.
City of Victoria (2007). Executive summary. Mayor’s task force in breaking the cycle of mental illness, addictions and homelessness. Retrieved September 27, 2008 from http://www.victoria.ca/cityhall/pdfs/tskfrc_brcycl_exctvs.pdf
City of Victoria (2007). Report of the steering committee. Mayor’s task force in breaking the cycle of mental illness, addictions and homelessness. Retrieved September 27, 2008 from http://www.victoria.ca/cityhall/pdfs/tskfrc_brcycl_strngc.pdf

Fay, B., Pomper, P., & Vann, R. T. (1998). History and theory: Contemporary readings. Malden, Mass.; Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Blackwell.

Gabrielian, V., Yang, K., & Spice, S., (2008) Qualitative research methods. In K. Yang & J.

Miller (Eds.), Handbook of research methods in public administration (2nd ed., pp. 141-168). New York: M. Dekker.

Garraghan, G. J. (Ed.). (1946). A guide to historical method. New York: Fordham University Press. Retrieved September 13, 2008 from http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=61984281#

Giannatasio, N.A. (2008). Threats to validity in research design. In K. Yang & J. Miller (Eds.), Handbook of research methods in public administration (2nd ed., pp. 109-128). New York: M. Dekker.


Golafshani, N. (2003). Understanding reliability and validity in qualitative research [Electronic Version]. The Qualitative Report, 8, 597-607.
Helps, L. (2005) Bodies public, city spaces: becoming modern Victoria, British Columbia,

1871-1901. Master’s thesis, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Retrieved September 27, 2008, from Dissertations & Theses @ University of Victoria database (Publication No. AAT MR07020).
Jones, R. A. (1985). Research methods in the social and behavioural sciences. Sunderland, MA:

Sinauer Associates Inc.


Krathwohl, D. R. (1993). Methods of educational and social science research: an integrated

approach. White Plains, NY: Longman.
Library and Archives Canada (2008). Information management (IM) – Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved September 27, 2008 from http://collectionscanada.ca/government/index-e.html
Piotrowski, S.J. (2008). Obtaining archival and other existing sources. In K. Yang & J. Miller (Eds.), Handbook of research methods in public administration (2nd ed., pp. 279-290). New York: M. Dekker.
Research Centre for Environmental History and Policy (2007). What is environmental history? Retrieved September 27, 2008, from http://www.cehp.stir.ac.uk/about/index.html

Rowney, D. K., & Graham, J. Q. (1969). Quantitative history; selected readings in the quantitative analysis of historical data. Homewood, Ill: Dorsey Press.

Shafer, R. J., & Bennett, D. H. (1974). A guide to historical method (Rev. ed.). Homewood, Ill: Dorsey Press.

Scott, J. (1990). A matter of record: Documentary sources in social research. Cambridge: Polity Press.


Solesbury, W. (2001). Evidence-based policy: Whence it came and where it’s going. Working Paper, retrieved September 27, 2008 from Kings College London website http://kcl.ac.uk/content/1/c6/03/45/84/wp1.pdf
Zussman, D. (2003) Evidence-based policy making: some observations of recent Canadian experience [Electronic version]. Social Policy Journal of New England, 20, 64-71.

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