This page collects introductory training materials for basic statistical methods.

Empirical Book Collection

The Goodson Law Library has developed a collection of handbooks and manuals for empirical research and statistical methods. The Empirical Collection can be found on Level 3, in the Oechler Reference Area (view map). All titles in the collection may be found in the Duke University Libraries' online catalog (view full listing).


These introductory mini-classes were developed by Dr. Mirya Holman, who served as the library's Empirical Research Associate from 2008-2010.

Local Statistics Instruction

There are several places in the local area to receive free or discounted statistics instruction.

  • Social Science Research Institute at Duke
    Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) provides access to interdisciplinary social science research social science research and methods across the social and behavioral sciences. Their facilities include a full time statistician, who can assist with a wide variety of statistical needs, a grant writer, and access to experimental and statistical labs.
  • Duke Human Resources Training
    Training from Duke's Human Resources on a variety of computer programs and techniques. Instruction on Excel and Access may provide training needed for basic statistical analysis.
  • Odum Institute at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    Odum offers a variety of short courses on statistical methods, computer programs, survey research, and hands on empirical assistance. Click on "Short Courses" on the left to browse the selection of short courses offered by the Institute each semester.
  • Durham Tech Classes
    Durham Tech Community College offers a variety of classes that may be useful for beginning or advanced learning about statistics, empirics, and research.

Institutional Review Boards

Online Training Resources

A wide variety of instruction on statistics is available online. We have selected those programs which provide the best and most consistent training.

Databases of trainings

  • UCLA's Statistical Computing Services
    An extensive online training library, containing powerpoints, movies, and MP3s. The first two-thirds of the classes focus on statistical computing, while the last third focus on specific statistical techniques, such as longitudinal analysis and survey data analysis.
  • MIT's OpenCourse Ware
    Extensive resources from MIT's classes, including lecture notes, syllabi, and videos of classes and lectures. Click on Mathematics to access classes on a variety of mathematical concepts.
  • ICPSR's Teaching Modules
    Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research's collection of data-focused instructional modules. Many examples use ICPSR's data as examples for instruction about a specific method or dataset. Users can search for a topic, or click "Browse Instructional Modules" to browse the modules.

Basic Method Trainings


Incorporating Statistics

Scholarship on Statistical Methods

UCLA's Empirical Research Group has compiled an Empirical Legal Scholarship Bibliography. The bibliography is searchable by topic, author, title, or year. Users can also choose to download the entirety of the bibliography.

Nathaniel Beck and Jonathan N. Katz, What to do (and not to do) with Time-Series Cross-Section Data, 89 Am J Poli Sci 634 (1995).

Jeremy A. Blumenthal, Meta-Analysis: A Primer for Legal Scholars, 80 TEMPLE L. REV. (forthcoming 2007, available from SSRN).

Thomas Brambor, William Roberts Clark, and Matt Golder, Understanding Interaction Models: Improving Empirical Analyses, 14 Pol Analysis 63 (2006).

Amy Edmondson and Stacey McManus, Methodological Fit in Management Field Research, 32 Academy of Management Review 1155 (2007).

Lee Epstein, and Andrew D. Martin. 2005. Coding Variables. In THE HANDBOOK OF SOCIAL MEASUREMENT, ed. Kimberly Kempf-Leonard. Academic Press.

Gary King, Michael Tomz and Jason Wittenberg, Making the Most of Statistical Analyses: Improving Interpretation and Presentation, 44 Am J Poli Sci 347 (2000)

Jeff Frank Strnad, Should Legal Empiricists Go Bayesian? 342 Stanford Law and Economics Olin Working Paper (May 2007, Available at SSRN).

Sven E. Wilson and Daniel M. Butler, A Lot More to Do: The Sensitivity of Time-Series Cross-Section Analyses to Simple Alternative Specifications, 15 Pol Analysis 101 (2007).

Last update: 04/24/2014 gl