Welcome to the BITSS Blog

Research Transparency Workshops in Cameroon, South Africa, and the UK

Guest post: Elise Wang Sonne, United Nations Univeristy-MERIT, Netherlands 2016 was definitely a very exciting year for me as a BITSS Catalyst, as I organized three transparency and reproducibility workshops in Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. The transparency journey ended with my speech during the 2016 OpenCon Conference on a plenary panel on…

R for Stata Users

Garret Christensen —BITSS Project Scientist For whatever reason, economists use a lot of Stata. It does what we want to do (data cleaning, regression analysis, data visualization) well, and the $1,000 fees we pay every other version or so doesn’t seem to have stopped its widespread adoption. But is that changing, and…

Accepting proposals for a third round of SSMART Grants!

BITSS is launching the third round of our Social Science Meta-Analysis and Research Transparency (SSMART) Grants – this time with a focus on research led by or partnered with researchers in the Global South. The SSMART grant initiative seeks to support and encourage important meta-research in the social sciences in order to…

Our 2017 ASSA Session

Garret Christensen –BITSS Project Scientist BITSS organized a session on meta-analysis and reproducibility in economics for the recent Allied Social Sciences Associations (ASSA, but better known as the AEAs, the largest annual economics conference and job market for PhD economists) in Chicago. Chicago, as much of the country, was in the midst…

StatTag: New Tool for Reproducible Research

Guest Post: Richard Ball, Associate Professor of Economics, Haverford College & Director, Project TIER R Markdown is a great tool.  It ensures reproducibility by incorporating both text and chunks of R code in a single source file that can be rendered into a formatted report, with results generated by the R code…

Goldilocks RCTs

SSMART grant recipients Fiona Burlig, Louis Preonas, and Matt Woerman have released a working paper based on their work on power calculations. With permission we’re reposting Fiona Burlig’s blog post here in its entirety. Check out the paper, or download the Stata code and see the pre-registration on the OSF. You can…

Winners of the 2016 Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes for Open Social Science

The Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences awards ten prizes this year to researchers working to forward the values of openness and transparency in research. BERKELEY, CA (Thursday, December 15, 2016) – Since its inception as an initiative within the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) in 2012, the Berkeley…

BITSS Annual Meeting Morning Software Workshop Details

Garret Christensen–BITSS Project Scientist If you’re coming to the Annual Meeting this Thursday, you may be curious what exactly we’re doing during the optional training workshop Thursday morning. I’ll give a brief overview of software tools that can help with reproducible workflow, and then we’ll spend most of the time demonstrating dynamic…

Announcing two of nine winners of the 2016 Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes for Open Social Science: Michèle Nuijten and Sacha Epskamp!

If you’re anything like us here at the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS), you’ve been on the lookout for the most notable innovators in research transparency and reproducibility. That’s why we were thrilled to receive 44 nominations for researchers and educators from 18 disciplines and sub-disciplines and 12…

BITSS issues Call for Projects to Current Catalysts

BITSS began almost four years ago as a small, but strong grassroots movement to change how social science is conducted to be more transparent and reproducible. After years of events, trainings, and publications, BITSS launched its Catalyst Program last November to harness its growing, grassroots network of social scientists dedicated to changing…

BITSS in the APS Observer | Open Science Training in Kenya

BITSS Director Jen Sturdy and Catalyst Stephanie Wykstra wrote a blog post about an open science workshop co-hosted by BITSS and IPA in Kenya earlier this year. In it, they situate the workshop within the larger transparency movement and put forth some important questions for researchers to consider as they construct their…

Panel on Reproducible Journalism

–Garret Christensen, BITSS Project Scientist Last month a colleague of mine from the Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS), John Bohannon, and I organized a panel discussion on the subject of reproducible journalism for Stanford’s Computation + Journalism Symposium. John is a contributing correspondent for Science, but he’s been visiting BIDS for…

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…

Accepting Nominations for the 2016 Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes for Open Social Science

In an effort to reward social scientists who do the hard work of advancingadvance practices of transparency and the use of reproducible methods in research, BITSS is accepting nominations for the 2016 Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes for Open Social Science. BITSS will award $10,000 to $15,000 to faculty who have incorporated research transparency methods…

Research Transparency in Social Sciences Landed in Francophone Africa

Guest Post: Zacharie Tsala Dimbuene, University of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo Everything started in March 2016, when I attended a workshop in Athi River (Nairobi, Kenya) organized by Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences about “Research Transparency in Social Sciences” (RTSS, hereafter). What caught my attention first is…

Upcoming Opportunities: Call for Papers x2, Nominations x1

We’ve got three big opportunities coming up. Two are new announcements, and one is a reminder. NEW: Annual Meeting Call for Papers– The 5th BITSS Annual Meeting will be in Berkeley December 15-16. This is our annual forum to highlight advances in the field of transparency and reproducibility across the social sciences.…

Open Source Interfaces with the Programmable Web Facilitate Replications of Big Data Analyses in Social Science Research

Guest Post: Ulrich Matter and Alois Stutzer, University of Basel The replicability of social science research is becoming more demanding in the age of big data. First, researchers aiming to replicate a study based on massive data face substantial computational costs. Second, and probably more challenging, they are often confronted with “highly…

An Inside Perspective of a Registered Replication Report (RRR)

Irene Cheung, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Western University – Huron Lorne Campbell, Professor of Social Psychology at Western University  Etienne LeBel, BITSS Project Scientist In the spring of 2014 we (i.e., Irene Cheung, Lorne Campbell and Etienne LeBel) decided to submit a proposal to Perspectives on Psychological Science for a Registered Replication Report…

Research Transparency Enhances Evidence Credibility in East Africa

EASST fellow Saint Kizito Omala, Lecturer at Makerere University and Senior Examinations Officer at the Uganda National Examinations Board. Technical details, which are often hidden, are what guarantee the  credibility of published scientific work. In this regard, Research Transparency (RT) is a primer! To lay bare all retraceable procedures and facts that…

UC Berkeley and California Government Data Sharing Forum

BITSS and Berkeley Opportunity Lab When a representative from the California Judicial Council attended the BITSS Annual Meeting last December, she asked the group an interesting question – if we want to be more transparent and share data, how can we do so in a responsible way that limits risk to those…

Save the Dates: Upcoming BITSS Events

If you’re interested in joining BITSS and others as a presenter at a conference session on transparency, replication, and reproducibility at the Institute for New Economic Thinkings’ Young Scholars Initiative (YSI) Plenary in Budapest Oct 19-22, please contact Garret. We’re hoping to submit a session proposal by the end of July. The…

Mid-Summer Recap

Garret Christensen–BITSS Project Scientist BITSS and I have been busy lately. Here’s a quick rundown: If you want to learn or teach reproducible programming, Software Carpentry is one of the best organizations out there–check out their lesson materials and see if they’re offering a workshop near you. I got hooked up with…

Psychology Open Science Progress Report

Etienne LeBel–BITSS Project Scientist My name is Etienne LeBel and I’m a new Project Scientist at BITSS. My background is in social psychology (areas: racial biases/stereotypes, self, & attitudes/persuasion), though most of my recent work involves meta-scientific contributions in the emerging open science and replication movement in psychology. My primary role at…

You get a grant, you get a grant, you get a grant.

We don’t quite have Oprah money, but we did give some very cool stuff away recently. By that I mean we are proud to officially announce our 2016 SSMART grant award winners. SSMART stands for “Social Science Meta-Analysis and Research Transparency” and we try to fund three types of research projects: Develop…

Out of the file drawer: Tips on prepping data for publication

Guest post: Julia Clark, Graduate Student Researcher, Policy Design and Evaluation Lab; PhD student in the Department of Political Science, UCSD       Publishing data and code is crucial to ensuring that social science research is transparent and reproducible. But researchers are busy people. Once a manuscript is accepted, the task…

2016 Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes for Open Social Science

We have officially announced the 2016 Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes for Open Social Science. This is a series of cash awards for young researchers conducting transparent and reproducible social science, and for teachers who have been promoting reproducibility. You can read more and download the official application instructions from the main L-R Prizes page.…

Call for Cases of Data Reuse: Still Seeking Answers

Guest post by Stephanie Wykstra, Innovations for Poverty Action         As advocates for open data, my colleagues and I often point to re-use of data for further research as a major benefit of data-sharing. In fact there are many cases in which shared data was clearly very useful for…

BITSS Bits: Repro at UC Davis and the World Bank, Job Openings

–Garret Christensen, BITSS Project Scientist BITSS Bits. Too cheesy for our newsletter name? My guess is yes. Regardless, here’s an update on recent BITSS activities. I presented on p-hacking, publication bias, and pre-registration at the Making Social Science Transparent conference at the UC Davis Institute for Social Sciences April 22. My slides…

BITSS and BIDS Collaboration: Call for Reproducible Workflows

BITSS and the Reproducibility Working Group at the Berkeley Institute for Data Science are collaborating on an edited volume of reproducible workflows in the social sciences, and we are looking for submissions. BIDS Fellow Cyrus Dioun wrote about it on the Bad Hessian computational social science blog: “[M]aking work reproducible can feel…

Upcoming Events and Links

Fitsum Mulugeta, a former EASST fellow who attended the IPA/BITSS transparency workshop in Kenya last month, wrote a blog post about his experience. David Broockman and Joshua Kalla (Leamer-Rosenthal prize winners) got more press coverage about their paper in Science on voter persuasion, this time from This American Life. Ted Miguel will…

Research Transparency Job Openings

Both Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and BITSS are hiring in the area of research transparency. IPA is hiring a coordinator, and BITSS is looking for a new program manager. Please apply and/or share widely.

Leamer-Rosenthal Prize Winners in the News Again

Last year BITSS gave some of our first Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes for Open Social Science to David Broockman and Joshua Kalla. They just had a new paper published in Science, and are keeping up the transparency–the supplementary materials file points clearly to a data, code, and interview scripts archive on Harvard’s Dataverse. Their paper…

“Making Social Science Transparent” Conference at UC Davis April 22

BITSS is taking part in a conference that we wanted to let you know about– The Institute for Social Sciences at UC Davis cordially invites you to attend: “Making Social Science Transparent: A Conference on the Issues of Transparency, Data and Code Accessibility, Replication, and Reproducibility” Friday, April 22, 2016 8:30 a.m.–6:00…

Summer Institute Application Deadline Extended until April 8

We’ve extended the deadline to apply for the BITSS Summer Institute until April 8. The summer institute will be June 8-10 in Berkeley, CA, and will bring together some of the leading researchers in social science and public health working on reproducibility. Read the full description of the event here. We hope…

BITSS/IPA Kenya Workshop on data-sharing and reproducibility

BITSS and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) recently co-hosted a workshop on reproducibility outside Nairobi, Kenya. IPA’s Stephanie Wykstra wrote a post for the IPA blog about the event: During the workshop (agenda here) we covered topics on how to make research reproducible. The sessions included an overview of why research is unreliable and…

Summer Reproducibility Workshop Announcements!

BITSS and related organizations have several events coming up. We strongly encourage you to apply, and to please share these announcements with graduate students or researchers in your networks who may be interested in attending. June 8-10 in Berkeley, California,  BITSS is holding its third annual Summer Institute, an intense three-day introduction…

Replication Project: Economics–sort of

Garret Christensen–BITSS Project Scientist I say sort of because it wasn’t run by the Center for Open Science, but in a similar spirit to the Replication Project: Psychology, Colin Camerer led a big reproducibility project related to economics experiments that came out in Science today.  Here’s the related news article, and here’s…

New BITSS Paper on Publication Bias

Garret Christensen–BITSS Project Scientist I’m happy to report that I just published a paper with Justin McCrary and Daniele Fanelli in PLOS ONE on publication bias, “Conservative Tests under Satisficing Models of Publication Bias.” In English, that’s “if I assume there’s a lot of publication bias, what t-statistics should I really interpret…

BITSS Is Hiring Another Scientist

BITSS is hiring another project scientist! Help us develop and launch a big study of researcher practices, and help us promote and develop reproducible research.  The official posting is here.

Project TIER Faculty Fellowship Opportunities

Our friends at Project TIER have a new funding opportunity for faculty interested in teaching reproducible empirical methods: Project TIER is pleased to announce new rounds of two programs for social science faculty interested in training undergraduate and graduate students in the social sciences in transparent and reproducible methods of research. TIER…

More SSMART Funding!

BITSS is delighted to announce the second round of our Social Science Meta-Analysis and Research Transparency (SSMART) grants. The RFP can be found here. The deadline to apply is 11:59 pm US Pacific Time, Monday, March 28, 2016.

Upcoming Events & Recent Papers

Garret Christensen–BITSS Project Scientist   How has registration affected publication bias in medical research? This comes as a surprise to me, but maybe not so much, says Grant M. Gordon. He’s presenting on this research Monday 1/25 in the BIDS space (190 Doe Library) at UC Berkeley. Find the paper and more…

Introducing The Replication Network (TRN)

Guest post by W. Robert Reed, Professor in Economics in the Department of Economics and Finance, University of Canterbury, New Zealand and co-organizer of The Replication Network           Replication is hot. At least I think it must be, because typing “replication AND science” in Google produces hundreds of…

Open Source Software for Reproducible Social Science

Garret Christensen –BITSS Project Scientist   BITSS offers grad student workshops in reproducible research, where I give a hands-on introduction to software that can help make your work more reproducible. A lot of the software is listed on the Software section of our Resources page, but I wanted to create a quick…

Science is “show me,” not “trust me”

Guest post by Philip B. Stark, Associate Dean of the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, UC Berkeley Professor of Statistics, and winner of one of BITSS’ Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes for Open Social Science.         Reproducibility and open science are about providing evidence that you are right, not just claiming…

BITSS’ Take on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

No, not really, but it does seem that the American Economic Association has fairly good timing with the publication of Brodeur, Lé, Sangnier, and Zylberberg’s “Star Wars: The Empirics Strikes Back” as the lead article in the new issue of American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, which appeared in my inbox this morning. We…

Searching 30,000 Psychology Articles for Statistical Errors

I recently came across this interesting article in psychology, which scanned over 30,000 articles in psychology for statistical reporting errors–checking test statistics against p-values, as some articles claim significance levels that don’t match up with their test statistics. The lead author, Michèle B. Nuijten, blogged about the article for Retraction Watch, where…

BITSS 2015 Annual Meeting NOW!

The BITSS 2015 Annual Meeting is going on now (Thursday and Friday Dec 10-11, at the Magnes in downtown Berkeley). The agenda is here. Tweet about it using #BITSS2015. We’re awarding the Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes for Open Social Science. The prizes have been covered by NYMag and the Atlantic! Materials (slides and such)…

BITSS Sessions Around the World

Garret Christensen–BITSS Project Scientist I’ve recently had the opportunity to represent BITSS at a few interesting meetings and conferences that you might be interested to hear about. A group of political scientists and other social scientists met at Stanford and held a daylong workshop to discuss steps the discipline could take to…