Author Archives: politicalsciencereplication.wordpress.com

Balancing Ethics and Transparency (part II): publishing sensitive data

More and more funders and journals require data management plans and public access to all types of research data. At the same time, many researchers struggle to balance transparency against legal and ethical obligations. Following on part I of this blog post, what are some simple guidelines on how to share sensitive data?

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Balancing Ethics and Transparency (part I)

Many journals and funders have policies requiring research transparency before an article is accepted or a project is supported. At the same time, much of the work in the social sciences relies on sensitive data in surveys or interviews that could endanger privacy or the well-being of human subjects. How can scholars working with sensitive data ensure a degree of transparency that still protects privacy?

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Replication in international relations: New research and blog

Nils Petter Gledisch and I just published a guest blog post about replication in international relations at the OUP blog. The blog is based on new research in the field, which we published as a symposium in International Studies Perspectives. We negotiated with OUP that all seven articles will be free access for a few weeks. Make sure to download all the pdfs before they go behind paywall again.

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Hi-tech against scientific misconduct + gender bias

The Guardian published a long read piece today on attempts to detect data errors or fabrication on a large scale. Using the app Statcheck by Michele Nuijten, we can now detect automatically if papers may have errors in them. Unfortunately Michele is hardly mentioned in the article and does not become a vital part of the larger story. Gender bias?

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Towards a more comprehensive replication standard in political science: reproducible data collection

How can we create reliable and replicable political science data? A recent article in the American Political Science Review focuses on text analysis and suggests ways to make these data sound and reproducible.

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How to ask for data – nicely

I recently received an email where a graduate student is trying to ask original authors for data. There is some evidence that authors withhold data due to time constraints (Tenopir et al. 2011), but they may also decline to share data because they fear a damaged reputation when a replication of their work fails (Lupia and Elman 2014). From my experience in the Cambridge Replication Workshop, authors are more willing to share their data when the replicator is perceived as trying to be helpful rather than cross-checking results. Here are my tips.

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Coding errors can be avoided

An article in the American Journal of Political Science was corrected after the coding of a political attitude variable was accidentally the wrong way around. Pre-publication cross-checks by the authors and the journal, as well as publication of the original data and variable transformations can avoid such problems.

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