An Invitation to Teaching Reproducible Research: Lessons from a Symposium

Journal of Statistics and Data Science Education, Richard Ball, Norm Medeiros, Nicholas W. Bussberg & Aneta Piekut (2022)


This article synthesizes ideas that emerged over the course of a 10-week symposium titled “Teaching Reproducible Research: Educational Outcomes” that took place in the spring of 2021. The speakers included one linguist, three political scientists, seven psychologists, and three statisticians; about half of them were based in the United States and about half in the United Kingdom. The symposium focused on a particular form of reproducibility—namely computational reproducibility—and the paper begins with an exposition of what computational reproducibility is and how it can be achieved. Drawing on talks by the speakers and comments from participants, the paper then enumerates several reasons for which learning reproducible research methods enhance the education of college and university students; the benefits have partly to do with developing computational skills that prepare students for future education and employment, but they also have to do with their intellectual development more broadly. The article also distills insights from the symposium about practical strategies instructors can adopt to integrate reproducibility into their teaching, as well as to promote the practice among colleagues and throughout departmental curricula. The conceptual framework about the meaning and purposes of teaching reproducibility, and the practical guidance about how to get started, add up to an invitation to instructors to explore the potential for introducing reproducibility in their classes and research supervision.

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Teaching Integrity in Empirical Economics: The Pedagogy of Reproducible Science in Undergraduate Education

Chapter in Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian: Case Studies and Best Practices, Norm Medeiros and Richard Ball (2017)

Professors and librarians choose careers at liberal arts colleges to forge meaningful relationships with students. A frequent and positive byproduct of this student-centered engagement is collaboration between professors and librarians on the provision of research services. Such collaboration is often a function of the library liaison model, a common organizational structure in college libraries that assigns a librarian to each academic department. Our collaboration began in this modest way, with associate librarian of the college providing guidance on acquiring data and appropriate literature for students in the associate professor of economics’ introductory statistics course. Our collaboration has since grown into a curriculum development and outreach initiative that promotes the integration of transparency and reproducibility in the research training of students in the social sciences.

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Teaching Integrity in Empirical Research: A Protocol for Documenting Data Management and Analysis

The Journal of Economic Instruction, Richard Ball and Norm Medeiros (2012)

This article describes a protocol the authors developed for teaching undergraduates to document their statistical analyses for empirical research projects so that their results are completely reproducible and verifiable. The protocol is guided by the principle that the documentation prepared to accompany an empirical research project should be sufficient to allow an independent researcher to replicate easily and exactly every step of the data management and analysis that generated the results reported in a study. The authors hope that requiring students to follow this protocol will not only teach them how to document their research appropriately, but also instill in them the belief that such documentation is an important professional responsibility.

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