Reproducibility of research in the social sciences is an ongoing and unresolved issue. The problem is our current model of 'good' research is derived from the hard sciences but often the axioms that apply in a field like physics or chemistry are just not suitable in the social sciences. Primarily because social sciences aren't experimental. A physicist can describe in detail the experiment they used to produce a result and then another researcher can follow the same steps and see if the find the same outcome. In a field like political science, you can't go out and run another national election just to test results published by someone else. Consequently, to evaluate high quality work, you're going to have to put some effort into understanding the statistical tools and methods used by the researchers and think critically about whether the published analysis really supports the conclusion.
Some things I might recommend looking for:
- What is the sample size of the analysis?
- Are the authors trained political scientists, economists etc. or are they from some other field trying to prove their own pet hypothesis?
- What is the quality of the references used? Are they citing known journals/work in the field or are they citing 'freemdomeagle.biz'?
- Are the data used in the research available in an online repository? Most high quality journals these days have a requirement that data sets be made publicly available on platforms like ICPSR, CKAN, Dataverse etc.
- Are the statistical methods they used appropriate and do they make an effort to explain any statistical anomalies in the data or the results?
- Have they published the code they used to produce the results? Sadly, this is less common than publishing data but it is a good sign if it is available.
- Is there a statement that addresses any author conflicts arising from affiliation or funding?
That's what I can think of off the top of my head. Maybe others can add more in the comments?
This is of course all focused on quantitative research. If you want to evaluate qualitative research, that's a whole other question