Let’s get started!

Hi, I’m Professor Ted Miguel, your lead educator for this course. Over the next five weeks, you will learn about the major transparency and reproducibility issues involved in doing social science research, as well as useful tools that have emerged from a variety of social science disciplines.

I’m joined by BITSS Project Scientist Garret Christensen and BITSS Postdoc Fernando Hoces de la Guardia, who will guide you through the quizzes and interactive steps in each week of the course so that you can get comfortable with some of the tools and platforms we introduce. You can find out more about Garret and Fernando by clicking on their profiles, or follow them to see their comments throughout the course.

In Week 1, we’ll start by discussing the scientific ethos – widely held values about how science should be done and how they contribute to what we hope is an accurate understanding of our world. We’ll also examine the extent to which scientists agree with this ethos and how well they actually uphold it.

In Week 2, we’ll identify major issues related to transparency and try to understand how they’ve come to be. We’ll focus especially on publication bias and the “file drawer problem.”

In Week 3, we’ll begin exploring different tools that researchers can use to make their research more transparent and reproducible, including pre-registration and pre-analysis plans the Open Science Framework, and meta-analysis.

In Week 4, we’ll discuss replication – the foundation of evidence – and how sharing data makes replication possible.

Finally, in Week 5, we’ll discuss the benefits of transparent data visualization and how we, as a scientific community, can move forward in changing the norms of research for the better.

Now that we’ve met, please introduce yourself to us and the other enrolled learners! Let us know what made you decide to join this course. What’s your background? What piqued your interest in research transparency and reproducibility? What are you hoping to get out of this course?

As in most courses, you may have questions regarding the material. Feel free to comment with your questions. We’d also suggest that you “Like” other posted questions similar to your own so that we can respond to them most efficiently.

We hope you enjoy the course! Happy learning!

© Center for Effective Global Action.