The term “open science” describes a broad movement to make all phases of research—from design to dissemination— more transparent and accessible. The scientific community and Federal agencies that support research (including agencies executing policy and program evaluation efforts) have a growing interest in open science methods. This stems at least partially from highly publicized news stories and journal articles that cast doubt on research credibility. These articles highlight issues such as data manipulation (e.g., p-hacking), publication bias (e.g., no publication of null results), and inability to replicate or reproduce research results. Proponents of open science strive to transform the research ecosystem through a range of methods that encourage open sharing of research information and enable researchers to verify and build on one another’s work.
The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) seeks to promote rigor, relevance, transparency, independence, and ethics in the conduct of research and evaluation. The ACF Evaluation Policy’s focus on transparency demonstrates a commitment to open science evidenced by:
- Making information about planned and ongoing evaluations easily accessible;
- Publishing study plans in advance;
- Comprehensively presenting results (including favorable, unfavorable, and null findings); and
- Broadly disseminating results, regardless of the findings, in a timely manner.
On October 24, 2019, OPRE convened a meeting for participants from Federal agencies, research firms, academia, and other organizations to discuss topics related to open science. Anticipated dissemination products from the meeting include:
- Short video clips highlighting key presentation points (forthcoming)
- A video of Dr. Katherine Corker’s presentation, “Pre-Registration: What and Why” (forthcoming)
- An open science resource list
- A summary of the topics discussed during the meeting
The meeting website, https://opremethodsmeeting.org/meetings/2019/ Visit disclaimer page , contains detailed information about the event, including the agenda, an overview of the topic, and copies of speaker presentations.
The point of contact for OPRE’s methods meetings, including the 2019 meeting on open science, is Kriti Jain. For more information about OPRE’s work on open science the points of contact are Jenessa Malin, Marie Lawrence, and Ellen Litkowski.