Transparency and Reproducibility Methods for Social Science Research (Berkeley, CA)


  • Garret Christensen, University of California at Berkeley
  • Edward Miguel, University of California at Berkeley

Background: The scientific community has grown increasingly aware of problems in the practice of research - including specification searching, selective presentation of results, hidden calculation errors, and failure to disclose the full set of hypothesis-testing strategies used to generate a set of results. Taken together, these issues create a widespread perception that findings from social sciences are untrustworthy (Spellman 2012). At the same time, there is a growing number of tools to tackle these problems -- from study registries that may tackle publication bias, to pre-analysis plans that can reduce p-hacking and other researcher degrees of freedom (Casey et al 2011). There are also online tools and software packages that facilitate transparent and reproducible workflows.

Description: Led by the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS), this workshop provides participants with an overview of cutting-edge mechanisms for transparent and reproducible social science. The curriculum is taught by academic leaders in the transparency movement, and there will be space for collaborative work and hands-on skill building.

Participants can expect to finish the program with a thorough overview and understanding of best practices for open, reproducible research, allowing them to remain in the vanguard of new scientific frontiers. They are encouraged to bring existing research questions and ideas based on their own interests, and seek support and feedback from instructors and other attendees.

As found during past Institutes, the number of applications usually far exceeds the number of available spaces for this workshop. With this in mind, BITSS aims to select 35-40 participants that represent a balance across disciplines and experience levels, as well as participants who are likely to have sustained impact on improving research transparency and reproducibility education and practice at their host institutions.

Eligibility: The workshop is designed for researchers across the social science spectrum, from economics to political science, psychology, and other related disciplines. Ideal candidates include: (i) graduate or post-graduate students (ii) junior faculty, (iii) staff from research organizations interested in using these methods, and (iv) journal editors or research funders curious about the implications for their work. Diversity in terms of background and academic discipline is encouraged.

Application: Participants will be chosen through a competitive selection process. To apply, click on the "Registration" tab at the top of this page, provide your information, and select the course. Applicants must upload the following documentation:

  • Curriculum Vita or Resume
  • Cover Letter including a) why you are interested in the workshop, b) how you might use what you learn to improve transparency practices of other social scientists, c) whether you will need financial support to attend the institute, and d) your current professional status.
  • Letter of Reference (optional)

Application Deadline Extended: The deadline for submitting applications has been extended to April 8, 2016. BITSS faculty and staff will then select 35-40 applicants for acceptance to the Institute. Notifications of acceptance will be sent no later than April 22, 2016.

Fee: There are no tuition fees for this workshop.

Please contact Alex Wais (awais [at] berkeley [dot] edu) with any questions.

Tags: transparency, replication, reproducibility

Course Sections

Section 1

Location: University of California, Berkeley -- Berkeley, CA

Date(s): June 8 - June 10

Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


  • Garret Christensen, University of California at Berkeley
  • Edward Miguel, University of California at Berkeley