Berkeley Initiative Scales up Research Transparency and Reproducibility Trainings

Annual trainings will bring together researchers from across the social sciences to promote transparency and reproducibility in social science research


Berkeley, Calif – Sept. 30, 2016 – To scale up and institutionalize open science trainings, the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) award for $250,000 over five years. An initiative of the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), BITSS will host annual Research Transparency and Reproducibility Training (RT2) events from 2017-2021. The RT2 events will create the infrastructure and resources needed to train learners on transparent, reproducible research. RT2 assembles an interdisciplinary group of thought leaders – from UC Berkeley, Stanford University, UC San Francisco, UC Riverside, as well as the Center for Open Science – to prioritize challenges in current research practice and identify promising solutions that address deficiencies in researcher practices and workflows

Annual RT2 conferences will be used not only to promote the diffusion of new tools and ideas, but also to identify the most effective channels for changing researcher behavior. Its curriculum will be redefined each year, producing a continuously refreshed body of tools and methods informed by evolving evidence. By targeting doctoral students, postdocs, and early career researchers as learners, RT2 is expected to have a direct impact on the current generation of health and social science researchers. The project will also affect future generations of scientists, as RT2 faculty and learners mainstream research transparency within their own courses, research programs, and scientific practice.

Building on CEGA’s commitment to building evidence on what works and why, the RT2 team will longitudinally track changes in the practices of RT2 faculty and learners through periodic surveys, qualitative feedback, and web analytics (including publication records, use of trial registries and data repositories, and activity on open science platforms).

RT2 events will complement other BITSS efforts to drive change in social science research. These efforts include the Catalyst Program, which works to empower researchers to promote transparency in their own classrooms and research networks, as well as the Social Science Meta-Analysis and Research Transparency (SSMART) Grants that fund rigorous studies to improve understanding of research practices in the social sciences. BITSS also rewards best practices in research transparency with its Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes for Open Social Science.

More information about BITSS can be found at: http://bitss.org/

About the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences:

An initiative of the Center for Effective Global Action, the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) was established in 2012 to strengthen the quality of social science research and evidence used for policy-making. The initiative aims to enhance the practices of economists, psychologists, political scientists, and other social scientists in ways that promote research transparency, reproducibility, and openness. Find out more at or follow us on Twitter @UCBITSS.

About the Center for Effective Global Action:

The Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) designs and tests solutions for the problems of poverty, generating actionable evidence for policy-makers in less developed countries. Using rigorous field trials, behavioral experiments, and tools from data science, we measure and maximize the impacts of economic development programs throughout the world. Find out more at cega.org or follow us on Twitter at @CEGA_UC.

Disclaimer: Activities described in this press release are supported by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R13AG055296. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of  the National Institutes of Health.

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