Replication Standards for Quantitative Social Science: Why Not Sociology?

Jeremy Freese Replication Standards for Quantitative Social Science: Why Not Sociology? Sociological Methods & Research 2007 36: 153-172. SMR 36:2 was a special issue on Replication and Data Analysis.

Jeremy FreeseThe credibility of quantitative social science benefits from policies that increase confidence that results reported by one researcher can be verified by others. Concerns about replicability have increased as the scale and sophistication of analyses increase the possible dependence of results on subtle analytic decisions and decrease the extent to which published articles contain full descriptions of methods. The author argues that sociology should adopt standards regarding replication that minimize its conceptualization as an ethical and individualistic matter andadvocates for a policy in which authors use independent online archives to deposit the maximum possible information for replicating published results at the time of publication and are explicitabout the conditions of availability for any necessary materials that are not provided. The author responds to several objections that might be raised to increasing the transparency of quantitativesociology in this way and offers a candidate replication policy for sociology.

Key Words: replication • data sharing • data archiving • transparency

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