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Teaching Students to Make Their Empirical Research Replicable: A Protocol for Documenting Data Mana

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  • Richard Ball

    () (Haverford College)

  • Norm Medeiros

    (Haverford College)

Abstract

This presentation will describe a protocol we have developed for teaching students conducting empirical research to document their work in such a way that their results are completely reproducible and verifiable. The protocol is comprised primarily of creating and assembling a collection of electronic documents—-including raw data files, do-files, and metadata files. The guiding principle is that an independent researcher, using only the data and information contained in these files, should be able to replicate every step of the data management and analysis that generated their empirical results. Students in our introductory statistics classes, as well as our senior advisees, have had a great deal of success using the protocol to document the data processing and analysis involved in their research papers and theses. There is a great deal of evidence [see Ball and Medeiros (2012) and McCullough and McKitrick (2009)] that, across the social sciences, professional norms and common practices with respect to documenting empirical research are deficient. We hope that teaching good practices to our students will help strengthen the professional norm that researchers have an ethical responsibility to ensure that their statistical results can be independently replicated.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Ball & Norm Medeiros, 2013. "Teaching Students to Make Their Empirical Research Replicable: A Protocol for Documenting Data Mana," 2013 Stata Conference 21, Stata Users Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:norl13:21
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    5. Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 1996. "Welfare Transfers in Two-Parent Families: Labor Supply and Welfare Participation under AFDC-UP," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 295-332, March.
    6. Arthur van Soest, 1995. "Structural Models of Family Labor Supply: A Discrete Choice Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 63-88.
    7. Daniel McFadden & Kenneth Train, 2000. "Mixed MNL models for discrete response," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 447-470.
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