Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

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Tightening up our data standards

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Journals in other disciplines are beginning to require more disclosure about back of the house activities in the research process. Some economics journals require the final data set be posted. Some psychology journals are requiring disclosure of any manipulations that were omitted in the final data analysis or how many times different variants of the same experiment were run before a significant result is found!!!

I find the statement that the archival data used in our research is from publicly available sources and that is the end of the disclosure about data availability to be one of the most disingenuous statement very made. Especially by a group of scholars who are often studying the transparency of others disclosures.

It is especially worrisome as one sees paper after paper after paper eliminating large portions of the total population due to missing data, outliers, windsoring, inability to match observations across data sets etc. lets make it a required disclosure that the first data set used be disclosed so that others can replicate the exclusions and see if they are warranted.

I will elaborate on this theme in my next post or two with a concrete example from our literature.


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