Growing demand for evidence to guide policy-making has driven increased investment in data-intensive social science research. Yet the incentives, norms, and institutions that govern the way research is practiced do not always promote openness and integrity. As long as significant results are rewarded and published more frequently than study replications, non-significant (null) results, or perplexing outcomes, the resulting evidence base will be incomplete and misleading. CEGA’s flagship transparency and reproducibility initiative, the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS), generates new tools and methods to strengthen the integrity of research, while carefully studying the ways in which stakeholders (researchers and policymakers) respond to and value research transparency. Ongoing studies are beginning to shed light on the effectiveness of various tools—including study registries and pre-analysis plans— as well as new journal policies on open data and replication in changing researcher norms and practices. The evidence we generate informs global trainings and high-impact dissemination events that are helping to shift institutional policies and norms, and build the capacity of researchers to produce high quality evidence.
The Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) strengthens the integrity of research and evidence used for policy-making through research and capacity building activities. BITSS supports a portfolio of 24 Social Science Meta-Analysis and Research Transparency (SSMART) projects, organizes trainings and a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), and scales best practices to academic researchers, journals, and institutions in over 20 countries....
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