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Influence of BITSS Research Transparency Training in the Americas


CEGA’s Research Transparency and Reproducibility Trainings (RT2) Inspire New Open Science Initiatives in Brazil, Colombia, and the US

CEGA’s intensive Research Transparency and Reproducibility Training (RT2) — organized by the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) — builds researcher capacity to recognize and conduct transparent and reproducible science, which often influences policy. Since 2014, CEGA has hosted nine such events, reaching over 340 researchers across the social sciences. Providing social scientists with an overview of tools and practices for transparent, reproducible, and ethical research, RT2s motivate participants to design and organize related activities within their own communities. Often, RT2 participants become BITSS Catalysts and receive support from CEGA to advance the teaching, practice, funding, and publishing of transparent social science research. Below we showcase the ripple effects of RT2 across the social science communities in Brazil,  Colombia, and the US.

Amanda Domingos, a Political Science PhD student at the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil, attended RT2 in London in 2017, and her colleague Rodrigo Lins, an Adjunct Professor at the Federal University of Sergipe and Estacio Recife, participated in the 2016 BITSS Summer Institute (a precursor to RT2). Building on their newly acquired knowledge of open science tools and practices, Amanda and Rodrigo established Métodos em Pauta [Methods on the Agenda] (MeP) in 2019, a student-led initiative to democratize discussions around open science in Brazilian political science. MeP has reached hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students from different social science disciplines in the state of Pernambuco through several round table discussions, talks, workshops, and a podcast called PodMétodos that features interactive discussions of research transparency and reproducibility. Learn more about MeP in this post on the BITSS blog.

After attending RT2 in Los Angeles in 2018, Diego Aycinena, an Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics at Universidad del Rosario, spearheaded the integration of research transparency into the Bogotá Experimental Economics Conference (BEEC), a leading regional conference. In 2019, BEEC featured a workshop on research transparency and reproducibility (in collaboration with Cesar Mantilla and Aleks Michuda). In 2020, BEEC included a special seminar on pre-results review in economics.

Participating in RT2 in Los Angeles in 2019 inspired Megan Becker, an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Southern California, to incorporate research reproducibility in her own teaching. In collaboration with colleagues, she has regularly used replication — the process of reproducing published work to verify the reproducibility and validity of its results — to introduce students to fundamental concepts in political science and sound research practices. In recognition of this curriculum shift, Megan recently received the 2021 CQ Press Award for Teaching Innovation from the American Association for Political Science.

Learn more about BITSS Catalysts and their training projects here.

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