Annette N. Brown: Is replication research the study of research or of researchers?

A few years ago, I and my colleagues designed the push button replication project with the dual objectives of discovering whether development impact evaluations are push button replicable and of implementing the project as transparently as possible. We were disappointed upon journal acceptance to be told that we could not make public our findings for individual studies in our sample because we had not received IRB approval. In this presentation, I will report the results of the push button replication project. I will also discuss a set of ethics considerations I have encountered in funding and conducting replication research. These considerations often underly the replication debates, for example the definitions of successful and failed replications, and hinge on the question of whether replication is the study of research or researchers.

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Annette Brown

Principal Economist, FHI 360

Annette Brown is the Principal Economist at FHI 360, an international non-profit working to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through research and program implementation. She also serves as Editor-in-Chief, and frequently writes for, FHI 360’s R&E Search for Evidence blog. Annette’s career in international development has spanned academe, non-profits, and for-profits. For the last decade she has focused on supporting and promoting the use of high-quality evidence for programs and policy. Her current research interests include the role and practice of replication research and the systematic review of evidence across a variety of topics. She has published in numerous social science and public health journals, and recently co-guest-edited a special journal section on replication of development impact evaluations. She received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan as a National Science Foundation Fellow and a B.A. (Phi Beta Kappa) from Grinnell College.