Data Access, Transparency, and Replication: New Insights from the Political Behavior Literature
by Daniel Stockemer, University of Ottawa, Sebastian Koehler, University of Konstanz and Tobias Lentz, Statistical Research Office in Hesse, Germany
Do researchers share their quantitative data and are the quantitative results that are published in political science journals replicable? We attempt to answer these questions by analyzing all articles published in the 2015 issues of three political behaviorist journals (i.e., Electoral Studies, Party Politics, and Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties)—all of which did not have a binding data-sharing and replication policy as of 2015. We found that authors are still reluctant to share their data; only slightly more than half of the authors in these journals do so. For those who share their data, we mainly confirmed the initial results reported in the respective articles in roughly 70% of the times. Only roughly 5% of the articles yielded significantly different results from those reported in the publication. However, we also found that roughly 25% of the articles organized the data and/or code so poorly that replication was impossible.