By Richard Ball, Haverford College
Project TIER (Teaching Integrity in Empirical Research; www.projecttier.org) is a curriculum development and outreach initiative that promotes the integration of issues related to transparency and reproducibility into all levels of training in applied quantitative research methods. Project TIER has created a range of curricular resources designed to help instructors teach their students transparent and reproducible methods of statistical research, including:
- The TIER Protocol (https://www.projecttier.org/tier-protocol/), which consists of (i) standards for preserving replication documentation (data, code and supplementary information) that documents the computational work underlying quantitative results reported in research papers, (ii) guidance on how to organize the various steps of data processing and analysis involved in study in such a way that creating the replication documentation is integrated organically throughout the entire research process, rather than a discrete activity undertaken after the project has been completed.
- A demo project (https://www.projecttier.org/tier-protocol/demo-project/), consisting of a short empirical article, with comprehensive replication documentation following the guidelines of the TIER Protocol, that provides an illustration of how the TIER standards are implemented in practice.
- A shorter, structured exercise (https://www.projecttier.org/tier-classroom/soup-nuts-exercises/#shorter-exercises-for-teaching-transparency-and-reproducibility) that can be completed in just one or two weeks, but gives students experience with all the steps of conducting and documenting a statistical research project. This is the first in what is intended to become a collection of similar exercises that can be adopted in contexts in which assigning complete, semester-long research papers is not feasible.
In addition to posting these resources on its website, Project TIER disseminates them by holding semi-annual faculty development workshops (https://www.projecttier.org/fellowships-and-workshops/faculty-development-workshops/#about-project-tier-faculty-development-workshops) for instructors of quantitative methods courses seeking ways of introducing their students to principles and practices of transparent and reproducible research. Most participants in these workshops have been from the social sciences (primarily economics, political science, psychology, and sociology), allied professional fields (e.g., public health), and statistics. The participation of faculty from the natural sciences is also welcome, and has been increasing.
The goal of the poster is to inform potentially interested faculty members about the resources that Project TIER offers, and to make connections with instructors from across the disciplines who might be interested in collaborating in creating additional curricular materials and developing new programs for disseminating them.