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New Research Hub: Lab²

How can research practices and the credibility of results in the economic sciences be further improved? WZB researcher Levent Neyse and Anna Dreber Almenberg (Stockholm School of Economics) want to provide answers with their new project "Incubator for Collaborative and Transparent Economic Sciences (Lab²)" at the WZB. The goal of Lab² is to establish an international network of experimental laboratories, carry out replication and meta-science studies and share all datasets. Replication studies repeat previously conducted studies in order to verify research results and ensure their quality. The project has won one million euros in funding from the Leibniz Association in a competition.

One of the major innovations of the project is the establishment of a global consortium of experimental laboratories in the field of economics. This consortium will not only conduct large-scale replication studies but will also share their activity logs and details about their ongoing research with Lab². These datasets will help to better understand diverse scientific practices, and to develop and disseminate common scientific norms in the field.

By examining current scientific practice, the Lab² researchers want to find answers to questions such as why certain projects fail or succeed, what obstacles researchers have to overcome at different stages of research, or whether they record and adhere to their analysis plans. The rigorous examination of transparency tools will provide evidence that contributes to the development of transparent research practices in practice.

Lab² will work on three sets of activities: Research, knowledge transfer, as well as support and education. These activities will be conducted with a large consortium of economic laboratories (labs hereafter), cooperation partners, strategic partners, and a scientific advisory board, consisting of leading, influential scientists. The researchers of the lab consortium and the coordination team will also organize workshops, conferences, seminar series and public lectures in addition to their research. Finally, knowledge transfer and educational activities will inform the scientific community and students about the findings and tools regarding transparency, replication studies, and meta-science.

The first three fellow labs of the consortium are WZB lab, Munich Experimental Laboratory for Economic and Social Sciences (MELESSA), and GATE-Lab (Lyon).

The core team consists of Aurélien Baillon (Emlyon), Anna Dreber Almenberg (Stockholm School of Economics; Innsbruck University), Taisuke Imai (Osaka University), Magnus Johannesson (Stockholm University), Levent Neyse (WZB; DIW), and Séverine Toussaert (Oxford University).

The global network involves partners including German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), The National Library of Economics (ZBW), Center for Open Science (COS), German Reproducibility Network (DE-RN), Institute for Replication (I4R), Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in Social Sciences (BITSS) and Berlin School of Economics. The scientific advisory board does not only involve economists but computer scientists, sociologists and psychologists from leading universities.

23.11.2023 / MP