IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action

  • J-PAL North America has released a pretty spiffy-looking toolkit for doing evaluations in North America, covering conceptual things like assessing feasibility as well as technical things like power calculations, with links to code and more resources (most of the info isn’t specific to North America).
  • It’s been a big few weeks for open science:

It is the policy of the American Economic Association to publish papers only if the data and code used in the analysis are clearly and precisely documented, and access to the data and code is clearly and precisely documented and is non-exclusive to the authors.
Authors of accepted papers that contain empirical work, simulations, or experimental work must provide, prior to acceptance, information about the data, programs, and other details of the computations sufficient to permit replication, as well as information about access to data and programs.

  • And see more from the Twitter account for the AEA Data Editor
  • Shameless plug for working with my colleagues at IPA, where there’s a dedicated data curation team that deidentifies and cleans the data, checks code, makes sure results are reproducible, and posts the data in AEA-approved archives.
  • Garret Christensen, Jeremy Freese, and Ted Miguel published a new book: Transparent and Reproducible Social Science Research: How to do open science. Follow that link to an accompanying blog post with a code for a 30% discount from the publisher. Importantly, they’re also raising money to distribute free copies to researchers in low-and middle-income countries.
  • Nature Human Behavior published an editorial alongside its first two registered reports, vetted (down to checking the code for at least one) and accepted before the studies were run. When the findings came in they contradicted what had previously been found in the literature.
  • Check out this interview with Brian Nosek on the Circle of Willis Podcast (iTunes) about his work with the Center for Open Science, trying to rethink how the scientific process could work if the incentives were to advance knowledge, rather than career pressure.
    • (BTW, after discovering I had 850 unlistened to podcast episodes, I recently declared podcast bankruptcy, deleted them all and am resubscribing judiciously. Circle of Willis – the name comes from a neuroanatomy thing – is one of the few I’m back on board with)
  • Also, one point I hadn’t thought much about, open access journals are free to access and the EU will be transitioning to requiring research they fund be published in open-access journals. But those journals often collect fees from authors, does that discriminate against researchers with less funding and from lower-income countries? Follow this thread for a discussion from Deborah Ghate & Duncan Green and calls for papers on the topic.
  • And I’m told some people might be using Sci-Hub to get to paywalled articles, make sure to avoid that or using any of these tips on how not to do it.