Mission and Objectives

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.

To accomplish its mission, BITSS aims to achieve five objectives:

  1. Build consensus on key issues facing students, faculty, researchers, funders, journals, and other key partners to be more transparent in the social sciences;
  2. Improve our understanding of the problem and build evidence on solutions for increased transparency through long-term study of researcher practices;
  3. Increase supply of and access to tools and resources for research transparency, which is a necessary precursor for widespread adoption of best practices across the research community;
  4. Deliver coursework and change research practices at scale by harnessing the BITSS network of students, academic faculty, and researchers (a “push” mechanism); and
  5. Provide recognition and awards for the adoption of behaviors related to research transparency (a “pull” mechanism).

BITSS is spearheaded by a distinguished, interdisciplinary group of faculty members across 10 academic institutions that provide thought leadership for the “open social science” movement. Under their guidance, the initiative is generating high quality research through a strong network that uses and generates a library of educational materials.