Big Changes in Reproducibility Policies by the American Economic Association

[Excerpts taken from an email sent out by the American Economic Association to its members on July 16, 2019]
“On July 10, 2019, the Association adopted an updated Data and Code Availability Policy, which can be found at https://www.aeaweb.org/journals/policies/data-code. The goal of the new policy is to improve the reproducibility and transparency of materials supporting research published in the AEA journals.”
“What’s new in the policy?”
“A central role for the AEA Data Editor. The inaugural Data Editor was appointed in January 2018 and will oversee the implementation of the new policy.”
“The Data Editor will regularly ask for the raw data associated with a paper, not just the analysis files, and for all programs that transform raw data into those from which the paper’s results are computed.”
“Replication archives will now be requested prior to acceptance, rather than during the publication process after acceptance…”
“There is a new repository infrastructure, hosted at openICPSR, called the “AEA Data and Code Repository.” Data (where allowed) and code (always required) will be uploaded to the repository and shared with the Data Editor prior to publication.”
“The Data Editor will assess compliance with this policy and will verify the accuracy of the information.”
“Will the Data Editor’s team run authors’ code prior to acceptance? Yes, to the extent that it is feasible. The code will need to produce the reported results, given the data provided. Authors can consult a generic checklist, as well as the template used by the replicating teams.”
“Will code be run even when the data cannot be posted? This was once an exemption, but the Data Editor will now attempt to conduct a reproducibility check of these materials through a third party who has access to the (confidential or restricted) data.” 
“More details can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) at https://www.aeaweb.org/journals/policies/data-code/faq.”

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