Research Design

Institutional Review Boards (IRB) Fundamentals

March 17, 2022, 3:00pm
Are you starting a research project at UC Berkeley that involves human subjects? If so, one of the first steps you will need to take is getting IRB approval.

Understanding how organizational structures interact with psychology to influence academic-related behavior

September 8, 2021
The ways in which educational organizations develop programs, approach pedagogy, and emphasize community building result in similarities and differences across different organizations’ structures. However, past research hasn’t developed a conceptual framework for understanding how differences in organizational structures might influence the educational outcomes of students from different backgrounds. The D-Lab NSF IUSE (Improving Undergraduate STEM Education) team sought to develop such a framework by leveraging past research from the fields of education, history, psychology, and sociology.

Assessing the Effectiveness of a Social Norms-Based Sexual Violence Prevention Digital Campaign on the UC Berkeley Campus

August 31, 2021
In collaboration with the prevention team at the PATH To Care Center (PTC) at the University of California, Berkeley, we experimentally assess the effectiveness of a sexual violence & sexual harassment (SVSH) prevention social media campaign on perceived social norms. Content Warning: This blog post mentions sexual violence & sexual harassment (SVSH)

Julia Lane, Ph.D.

Guest Speaker
Professor at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
Professor at the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress
NYU Provostial Fellow for Innovation Analytics

Julia Lane is a Professor at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, at the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress, and a NYU Provostial Fellow for Innovation Analytics. She cofounded the Coleridge Initiative, whose goal is to use data to transform the way governments access and use data for the social good through training programs, research projects and a secure data facility. The approach is attracting national attention, including the ...

Democratizing Our Data

August 26, 2021, 10:00am
There is enormous interest in building a better understanding of how evidence and data can inform policy. New possibilities have opened up to enable data to be shared and used across states and agencies. One is a technical approach – the Administrative Data Research Facility – which provides a secure environment within which education, training, and workforce data can be shared across agencies and states. The other is human – the Applied Data Analytics training program – which trains government agency staff how to combine and use the data to serve their agency missions. Over 650 participants from over 150 agencies have participated and produced new products and new networks in the process. This presentation discusses the approach sponsored by the California Department of Social Services, joint with the Department of Education and the Economic Development Department. The D-Lab worked with the Coleridge Initiative to successfully combine the two approaches. The presentation will also address the broader vision of how approaches like this can serve to democratize data for the United States.
See event details for participation information.

The Importance of Design Plans for Data Science

April 20, 2021

Since becoming a Data Fellow at the D-Lab, I have had the opportunity to assist many talented social scientists through the D-Lab’s Consulting service. A regular consulting request is to help with the research design for a new project. These requests are understandable. For empirical researchers, a high-quality research design makes or breaks a research project. In this post, I suggest a few benefits of writing a skeleton design plan before writing any code whatsoever.

One of the exciting aspects...

COVIDENCE: A Game Changer for Systemic Reviews

March 9, 2021

If you are planning on conducting a systematic review consider using Covidence for your next project! Your UC Berkeley account gives you access to an unlimited number of reviews and citations per review, as well enhanced support.

As part of my Masters of Public Health Capstone Project, I completed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess suicides among previously incarcerated persons. Covidence streamlined the most time-consuming and error-prone parts...

Improving Research Transparency in the Social Sciences through Pre-Analysis Plans

March 23, 2021

Openness, transparency, and reproducibility in research are critical to scientific progress. Yet, according to a 2016 internet-based survey of 1,576 researchers, 90% of respondents felt there was a slight or significant reproducibility crisis.1 Moreover, there are longstanding concerns that scientific journals favor positive or significant results—often referred to as publication bias—which may produce bodies of evidence that are incomplete or misleading (i.e., because studies which report null findings are not published).2 Publication bias can also arise when researchers choose...

Organized Code Repositories Accelerate Science and Facilitate Reproducubility

March 2, 2021

Computational and data-driven research increasingly requires developing complex codebases. At the same time, many scientists don’t receive training in software engineering practices, resulting in, for some, the perception that scientists write terrible software. As scientists, good software should accelerate our work and facilitate its reproducibility. While building good coding practices takes some time and experience, it doesn’t require a...