Full disclosure: I approach this topic simultaneously from the perspective of a social scientist and as the instructor of a traditional introductory statistics class for over twenty years. I am, thus, myself part of the problem. While I am mainly following the dictates of some of the most popular text books, it is fully within my power to diverge from the book. When I do not do so, it is really my own fault—a sheep following the sheep dogs.
Our worst failure as statistics teachers is to teach as if all or most of the data that our students will engage with in their future careers are from simple random samples.Read More »How Traditional Introductory Statistics Textbooks Fail to Serve Social Science Undergraduates
In February 2013, the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memorandum to all agency and department heads entitled, “Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research”.
The memo directed federal agencies that award more than $100 million in research grants to develop plans for increasing public access to peer-reviewed scientific publications. It also requires researchers to better account for and manage the digital data resulting from their federally funded research. (At the same time, the OSTP directive acknowledges that access to some data needs to be controlled to protect human privacy, confidentiality of business secrets, intellectual property interests, and other reasons.)
The OSTP recognizes that research data are valuable and need to be preserved. Increased public access to data – along with better access to the published literature – is fundamental to research, and permits
- more thorough critiques of theories and interpretations, including replication of research results,
- scholarly innovation that builds on past work, and
- practical application of scholarly discoveries.