Introducing the Animal Advocacy Data Repository, and Call for Contributors
We think research can be a valuable activity for animal advocates because there are important, unsolved questions about what works and what doesn’t for helping animals. Thanks to the work of a number of committed groups, including a number of ACE recommended charities – Animal Equality, Mercy For Animals, The Humane League, Faunalytics, and Vegan Outreach – we are excited about the future of research in animal advocacy.
To promote open science and data sharing practices in the animal advocacy research community, we have launched the Animal Advocacy Data Repository. The Animal Advocacy Data Repository is an online resource for researchers and organizations who study animal advocacy to post or cross-post their data, results, and other research outputs they want to make publicly available, such as study materials, hypothesis preregistrations, and analysis plans. The Data Repository is hosted on the Open Science Framework, a free service offered by the Center for Open Science to improve the openness, integrity, and reproducibility of research.
We created this data repository for a few reasons:
To encourage efficient dissemination of research
The vast majority of research reports released by animal advocacy groups have not been published in academic journals, and are instead scattered across the websites and blog archives of a number of different organizations. Establishing a single, publicly-accessible data repository may make it easier for researchers and advocates to locate and learn from past research.
To allow researchers to preregister their hypotheses and analysis plans
To ensure the reliability of any statistical analyses, it is important for researchers to preregister their hypotheses and analysis plans (e.g. see here or here). The data repository is one place where researchers can publicly post these preregistration plans.
To ensure complete and accurate reporting of results
Scientists in a number of other fields such as psychology, economics, and medicine are increasingly learning that many of their published findings are not reproducible, likely due in part to the widespread use of questionable research practices. The data repository is a place where researchers are encouraged to publicly post their raw data and analysis code, so that other researchers can double-check their results.
To help future researchers estimate required sample sizes
Collecting sufficient sample sizes has been a major issue in past animal advocacy research. Making our raw data available will make it easier for researchers to understand the psychometric characteristics (e.g. means, variances) of commonly-used outcome measures (e.g. self-reported meat consumption, attitudes towards farmed animals) and thus better estimate sample sizes needed for future studies.
We are actively seeking contributors who are currently conducting or plan to conduct research relevant to animal advocacy, and are willing to post research outputs to the repository. If you or would like to contribute, or have any questions, please contact Greg Boese at Animal Charity Evaluators.