Discussions of the functions of institutional research are common. However, discussions concerning the structures associated with disciplined inquiry, the research part of institutional research, have been rare. This paper compares the process and structure of institutional research with three ways in which science is conceptualized. These comparisons result in the recognition that although institutional research has much in common with science, it is distinct from science. This paper begins the process of identifying the structures and assumptions that form the basis of institutional research.
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