Vietnam’s social science research needs improving

Posted at: MONday - 20/01/2014 14:33 - post name: Phan Trọng Quỳnh

Vietnam’s social science research needs improving

Through the review of social science reports published in journals and magazines such as the Vietnam Social Science Review, Vietnam Social Sciences, Institute of Social Sciences Information, and international social science publications, it is said that Vietnam’s social science research is not in line with that in the world.

Vietnam’s social science research reports are rarely seen in international magazines (the assessment of the National Science and Technology Development Fund over its funded projects since 2010 revealed that only 10 of the projects met the requirements)

The lack of connectivity between Vietnam’s social science and that of the world is attributed to various reasons. Most social science studies in Vietnam do not consider knowledge as the accumulation of understandings. Social science reports in Vietnam do not include a good literature review, which is a foundation for research projects. Research projects are often focused on a Vietnam’s particular issues without putting them in a general context of social science. Vietnamese researchers do not use theory or research paradigm in their studies so they can not go further than description of the situation to reach the level of explanation and hypothesis testing. The result of their studies can only provide information but not understandings which contribute to social science in general.

In scientific reports published in Vietnam, methodology is not seriously taken so that readers can not see the quality of sample and data collection, as well as concept measurement and analytical procedure. Researchers often collect small amount of samples (below 100), which are not representational, in their quantitative studies.  Univariate analysis, the simplest form of quantitative (statistical) analysis, is often used for descriptive purposes. The connection between social factors and phenomenon observation is not taken into account due to the lack of bivariate analysis và multivariate analysis.

Over the past two decades, Vietnam’s society has experienced various changes with complicated relations between the society and humans. It offers a good opportunity for Vietnam to contribute to social science in general through the publication of social science reports as well as exploration of new ideas in international social science journals and magazines.

In order to improve the quality of social science research, social science researchers should pay special attention to research methodology.

Translated by Dic

Author: Bùi Ngọc Hoàn
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