Data Sharing in Political Science: Glass Half Empty? Or Full?

[From the article “Data Access, Transparency, and Replication: New Insights from the Political Behavior Literature” by Daniel Stockemer, Sebastian Koehler, and Tobias Lentz, in the October issue of PS: Political Science & Politics]
“How many authors of articles published in journal with no mandatory data-access policy make their dataset and analytical code publicly available? If they do, how many times can we replicate the results? If we can replicate them, do we obtain the same results as reported in the respective article?”
“We answer these questions based on all quantitative articles published in 2015 in three behavioral journals—Electoral Studies, Party Politics, and Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties—none of which has any binding data-access or replication policy as of 2015. We found that few researchers make their data accessible online and only slightly more than half of contacted authors sent their data on request. Our results further indicate that for those who make their data available, the replication confirms the results (other than minor differences) reported in the initial article in roughly 70% of cases.”
“However, more concerning, we found that in 5% of articles, the replication results are fundamentally different from those presented in the article. Moreover, in 25% of cases, replication is impossible due to poor organization of the data and/or code.”
To read more, click here. (NOTE: article is behind a paywall.)

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