News from the Accelerator – May 2020

This month, we have updates on myriad fronts, including but not limited to, a spike in new PSA membership sign-ups, progress on studies PSA 001 through PSA 006, information about our recently launched PSA Covid Rapid Studies, a call for new members on two PSA working groups, and several interesting opportunities to collaborate with other PSA members on research projects.

MEMBERSHIP

Our network has officially grown to over 1, 000 members. Welcome new accelerators!! We have no doubts that you will do great things in our network. Just in the last couple months since our last newsletter, we have added hundreds of members. We are stoked to see our network continue to grow.

STUDY UPDATES

  • PSA 001- The Stage 2 Registered Report received a revise-and-resubmit from Nature Human Behaviour. The lead authors have made the requested changes, and the participating labs are currently reviewing the updated manuscript. After the lead authors address those comments, they will resubmit the manuscript.
  • PSA 002/003- As a result of the pandemic, face-to-face data collection for the 002/003 bundle has been suspended until further notice. We are currently testing the feasibility of moving the procedure online, in case there are no opportunities for in-person data collection for the remainder of the year. Our goal is to complete data collection and submit 002’s Stage 2 registered report by the end of 2020. Thus far, we have collected data from 2,560 participants across 16 languages!
  • PSA 004- The Accelerated CREP originally should have been ending data collection right about now, but has been extended through the end of 2020 because of Coronavirus-related delays. You can still join the project to collect data (onboarding form here)! All data collection can happen online.
  • PSA 005- The lead team is working on finishing up its revisions of the Stage 1 Registered Report. Our editor at Nature Human Behaviour asked us to do some pilot testing of our technical implementation of the adaptive algorithm that governs condition assignment. With Erin Buchanan’s help, we implemented all aspects of the project in formr and conducted a variety of tests to ensure that the condition assignment changes as appropriate in light of different kinds of evidence. This whole effort went slower than expected due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, but we received an extension from our editor. We’ve also finished a first draft of our paper revisions and our response to reviewers. We expect to submit the revision within 1-2 weeks.
  • PSA 006- The PSA 006 project is currently collecting data. So far, the ~150 participating labs have collected data from 8,450 participants. Following the registered plan, the team is conducting sequential data analyses in three cultural clusters. Further rounds of data collection are expected later this year.
  • PSACR 1/2/3- PSA Covid Rapid (PSACR) is three bundled studies running together along with some general questions. PSACR 001 and 003 will be submitted for publication after data collection is complete. PSACR 002 was accepted as a Stage 1 Registered Report at Nature Human Behavior. Data collection is live for all three studies in English, Hungarian, and Dutch and many more languages are in the translation and implementation pipeline. Over 5,000 people have participated so far. Many people have been working hard to pull off this project and in particular, Heather Urry, Max Primbs, and Erin Buchanan have done tremendous work to keep the project afloat, catch errors, and help move translation and implementation along.
  • Upcoming New Studies- Resulting  from our 2019 call for studies, 1 proposal has been accepted pending minor revisions, two are being revised and resubmitted with possible acceptance in 2020, and several more are being revised and resubmitted in preparation for future calls for studies.

PSA SERVER PURCHASED

Thanks to a generous donation from Erin Buchanan, we were able to purchase new server equipment to support the increasing complexity and data collection load of our current and future PSA studies! The new server has been blazing fast in our initial tests, and it should be ready for us to start using in earnest soon. This also means we are going to be able to overhaul our  member website to give it a functioning dashboard that will be more effective and user-friendly for members.

PLANNING THE PSA’S FIRST CONFERENCE

We are hoping to host a virtual meeting in 2020 and are exploring possible dates. Our preliminary plan is to hold the conference in September (on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, or on 8th, 9th, and 10th) with sessions spreading across 12 hour each days to help accommodate the vast time zone differences of PSA members. We are hoping to get feedback on which set of days works best for our members (starting on the 1st of September or starting on the 8th of September). We are planning to have a range of session types, including update presentations on current PSA studies, workshops on how to get involved in our studies, study submission tips, as well as presentations on non-PSA research that our members are currently working on. We hope to have further details for y’all soon. Please reach out to slewis16@ashland.edu to give feedback on preferred dates or if you would like to be added to our email list of possible attendees.

DATA AND METHODS COMMITTEE SEEKS NEW MEMBERS

The PSA Data and Methods Committee is seeking a new standing member of our committee. The Data and Methods Committee (DM) is responsible for operation and policy development related to methodology, meta-science, and data management within the PSA. Those interested to join the committee should read our bylaws here: https://osf.io/p65qe/. This position is a two-year commitment, starting in June 2020, with the following responsibilities:

  • Attend bi-weekly Data and Methods committee meetings
  • Assist with the committee’s operation and research responsibilities
  • Advise on matters of committee policy
  • Vote on research projects and amendments to the committee’s bylaws
  • Fulfill assigned responsibilities (as delegated by the Assistant Directors)

Some examples of recent work carried out by the committee are:

  • Writing, revising, and ratifying the analysis plan approval process
  • Coordinating with the larger PSA leadership to develop a needs assessment
  • Selecting methodological reviewers for proposals
  • Recruiting methodologists and data managers for accepted projects
  • Developing a metascience study submission process
  • Conducting and contributing to DM research projects undertaken by DM members

We expect Standing Committee Members will devote approximately 8-16 hours per month of time to their work. These are not set limits and may fluctuate from month to month. Any members of the PSA are eligible to apply. Previous service experience with the PSA is desired but not required. Application materials to submit:

  1. Statement of interest outlining interest in working with the DM and relevant experience (short; max 500 words)
  2. Relevant documentation that supports the information described in the statement of interest and experience (can be a CV, a personal website, blog, osf page, etc.)
  3. E.g., If you describe experience managing open data you might want to put on your CV links to OSF pages, or link to a github or blog, that is ok — submit a CV or other document that provides background for your experience

Applicants who move on to the next step of recruitment will be asked to attend a DM committee meeting so that they can become acquainted with our process and procedures. Review of applications to begin within one week, review rolling until position is filled.  Please send application materials to: dataandmethods@gmail.com.

PSA METASCIENCE SUBCOMMITTEE SEEKS NEW MEMBERS

The PSA Metascience subcommittee is looking for up to 5 new members to help facilitate Metascience research projects within the PSA.  The role of the subcommittee will be to review proposals on work that uses the PSA to research the process of science, as well as develop policy to support metascience research. Responsibilities of subcommittee members will include reviewing proposals, interfacing with members of the Study Selection, Data and Methods, and Data Management Committees when appropriate, and meeting monthly as a group to review progress.

If you’re interested, send your information to Nick Fox: nfox423@gmail.com by Friday May 29th.  Include a short paragraph on why you’d like to join the subcommittee, what you’re looking to get out of being a subcommittee member, and any metascience or methodological research experience you’ve had (it’s not required, but will be helpful for us to try and maximize the diversity of experiences!). 

OTHER OPPORTUNITIES TO COLLABORATE WITH PSA MEMBERS

African Many Labs

  • We are starting the ManyLabs: Africa project, which is a doctoral thesis on the replicability and generalizability of effects across African and Western populations. The project is led by Adeyemi Adetula, currently at Université Grenoble Alpes (France). The project is supervised by Drs. Hans IJzerman, Dana Basnight- Brown and Patrick Forscher

    We call for researchers from Africa to serve as collaborators in a pilot study (using the CREP framework for a one-study project) and researchers from Africa, Europe, and North America for the main study (ManyLabs: Africa). As part of this project, we will provide online training / webinar courses on open science access and tools to African researchers. 

    Collaborators can earn authorship for data collection, translation, and coordination of their research unit. Other activities could include consultation on study/effects nomination and evaluation.

    Interested researchers can sign up here. For further information, please contact Adeyemi Adetula at adeyemiadetula1@gmail.com.

Two Opportunities from Balazs Aczel: 

  • Balazs Aczel’s lab advertises a collaboration opportunity to find out why people violate lock down. Join the project if you can organize online data collection in your country to extend the multinational datasets. Collaborators are expected to collect data (min 350 pps) from a country with some level of current lock down. More info:  https://tinyurl.com/ConfinementNonadherence
  • Research on how you cope with home-office

Our team would like to explore how researchers cope with working from home now and in general. This is a great opportunity for the research community to change old routines and optimize the time they spend in the office and work from home.

From our survey results, we will create recommendations for institutions on how to support researchers’ efficiency and work-life balance regarding their options and condition in remote working. After responding, you can sign up to win a 100 USD Amazon (or your choice) voucher. If your region was in recent lockdown, please share your experience with home-office in this ~4-min anonymous survey. Follow this link to the Survey.

We appreciate it if you share this survey with your colleagues. Thank you for your support.

Balazs Aczel, ELTE, Hungary

Join the PSA’s Rapid-Response COVID-19 Project

The world is currently witnessing a public health crisis that is unprecedented in our lifetimes: the global COVID-19 pandemic. At the Psychological Science Accelerator (PSA), we are deeply concerned about the many impacts of this outbreak, but we are also optimistic about behavioral science’s potential to mitigate these impacts. With our network of more than 500 labs from over 70 countries, we believe that – with your help – the PSA can play a crucial role in this process. This can only occur if our member labs, and new labs who would like to join us, contribute to project administration and local data collection.

Last week, we put out a call for rapid and impactful studies to understand the behavioral and psychological aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak. We received an overwhelming response. The community submitted a whopping 66 (!!) proposals. 141 PSA members voted on the 11 proposals that passed triage. Yesterday, we provisionally accepted the three proposals that received the most votes, with another four proposals on our “waitlist.” Waitlisted studies will come off the waitlist if we receive an overwhelming response during lab recruitment and if early preparation for our first three studies goes smoothly.

We anticipate that all PSA COVID-Rapid studies will be bundled into a single data collection effort. You can read more details about the selected studies and the process of contributing to data collection here.

We need your help. This project is big. We aim to recruit thousands of participants from all over the globe. We can only succeed with this aim through the collective energy of our members.

You can contribute your time and expertise. One way to help is by joining the COVID-Rapid project. After joining, you can volunteer to manage the projects, translate the project materials into one of over 50 languages, or help with data collection by recruiting online participants from your local community. If you have questions about the process of joining the study, contact the PSA COVID-19 Gmail account at psacovid@gmail.com.

To join this project:

  1. Become a member of the PSA by registering at the member website 
  2. Log in to the member website 
  3. Click on My Lab > Study Sign Up
  4. Complete your member profile at My Account > Create Profile

If you wish to recruit participants for the project, you must be willing to do so fast. This will require very fast ethics approval and data collection. We anticipate that most sites will either join an existing IRB application as an investigator (e.g., the application at Chris Chartier’s Ashland University), ask their local IRBs to defer to an IRB that has granted us approval, obtain an ethics waiver because the study is minimal risk, or go through expedited review. We will work with you on the ethics process once you join the project. 

You can also contribute financially. To pull off a project of this magnitude, we also need financial contributions. For those who can, you can donate via PayPal. Every dollar received will be spent supporting this project. Financial contributions will be used to pay participants, aid with recruitment, compensate translators, and compensate other administrative contributors.

The PSA has an opportunity to activate our global network to confront the global challenge of COVID-19. We will only succeed with your support and involvement. Together, we can harness the potential of behavioral science to further the public good.

Support the PSA COVID-19 Rapid and Impactful Studies with a Donation

DONATE HERE

In response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the Psychological Science Accelerator (PSA) issued a call on March 13th for rapid and impactful proposals to understand the psychological and behavioral aspects of the pandemic. The response to our call has been both enthusiastic and heartwarming — we received over 60 submissions within the four-day window.

The Psychological Science Accelerator is the largest research network of researchers in the social sciences. We now have over 500 labs from over 77 countries. This network includes the top scientists in psychology, with expertise on study design, data analysis, ethics, study management, and translation. Researchers from all over the entire world submit their study proposals to this network. We strongly believe our combined resources can make an impact in this humanitarian crisis. 

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We are working quickly to select the very best proposals from the 60+ submissions that we received. Based on our current pool, the topics of our COVID-19 studies could range from behavioral interventions to improve adherence to preventive health measures, to interventions to fight fake news about COVID-19, to methods to reduce the anxiety that accompanies social distancing. We are confident that our COVID-19 initiative will make an impact. However, the initiative would be all the more impactful if we had more financial resources at our disposal. These financial resources would allow us to:

  • Pay for participant compensation at sites without large research budgets
  • Use recruitment methods in some sites that do not rely on convenience sampling
  • Pay for social media advertising to assist with recruitment efforts
  • Provide stipends to translators so that our projects can be conducted in non-English languages
  • Provide a stipend for a project manager who could ensure the full project happens on a rapid timetable

In short, financial resources would allow us to have an even greater chance to generate informative research papers and datasets. Because we plan to share these datasets and papers freely and openly, these research products should allow us to substantially improve our knowledge of the behavioral science of COVID-19, thereby contributing to policy discussions about how to mitigate COVID-19’s pernicious public health effects. If you would like to help us in this endeavor, you can contribute to our financial resources via our PayPal.

The community response to COVID-19 has been extremely gratifying. Let’s use our collective skills and resources to understand and respond to this evolving crisis.

The PSA Calls for Rapid and Impactful Study Proposals on COVID-19

Purpose of this call

The Psychological Science Accelerator (PSA) is the largest consortium of research psychologists in the world. Behavioral scientists can play an important role in combating the growing COVID-19 pandemic if we quickly take action to collect high-quality data from large, global samples. The PSA wants to team up with researchers working on important questions related to this pandemic. 

Scope of study proposals

We are soliciting proposals for studies that can be conducted online. Studies should be relatively easy to conduct. We are only interested in applied, not basic, research. Research proposals from multi-disciplinary teams (e.g., health researchers, psychologists, and data scientists) will be prioritized. Proposals should not exceed 1 page. This one page should include the basic research question, (very briefly) the relevant literature, identify whether the research is exploratory or confirmatory, and how the research will contribute to reducing the effects of the current crisis. If confirmatory, the researchers should clearly identify the hypothesis/hypotheses and the needed sample size for answering their research question. If exploratory, the researchers should identify how data will be used to generate hypotheses. In addition, if exploratory, the researchers will have to identify how they will use methods including – but not limited to – cross-validation for greater certainty about the generated ideas.

If feasible and volunteers are available, the network may be able to assist with translation into the major world languages. However, if you need your study conducted in multiple languages, we encourage you to have a translation plan in place.

What we’re offering

We are offering to share study proposals to the PSA network in order to connect interested and available collaborators to high-quality projects concerning COVID-19. The PSA currently comprises over 700 researchers from labs in over 70 countries.

Gorilla has also offered free use of their online experiment builder if it could be helpful for these project.

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What we’re not offering

Because this call for proposals is truly exceptional and is not going through the normal PSA study pipeline, we cannot guarantee the same levels of support standard PSA studies receive. In particular, we cannot guarantee a minimum number of collaborators or data collection labs, nor can we guarantee official support through our committee structure. Nevertheless, we will share the selected studies with our network, and we strongly suspect that PSA members may volunteer their time and expertise to help with aspects of your study (e.g., data management, analysis support).

The selection process

Proposals will be evaluated on a rolling basis, but should be submitted before Tuesday March 17, 2020, 5pm EST. Proposals will be initially screened by the Director and Associate Directors for feasibility and fit with the scope of this call. Studies that meet that threshold will be put to a rapid up-or-down vote (within 24 hours) from the entire network. All proposals that receive more upvotes than downvotes will be released to the network to pair collaborators with selected studies. At that point, any interested and capable PSA member that would like to join a project will be encouraged to do so.

Outlets

One of the potential outlets to publish for this call is Nature Human Behaviour, which has committed to efficient turnaround regarding papers concerning this crisis.

Royal Society Open Science has also announced a rapid evaluation track for Registered Reports related to COVID-19.

Researchers relying on our infrastructure will be required to post their work on a preprint server (like PsyArxiv) for quick dissemination. 

How to submit

Send your proposals to Hans IJzerman (h.ijzerman@gmail.com), Charlie Ebersole (cebersole@virginia.edu), and our general PSA email address (psysciaccelerator@gmail.com).  Please reach out to us if you have any questions about this call for proposals. These are frightening and uncertain times, but psychological scientists are well-positioned to conduct high-quality research into this growing pandemic, and our work can help indicate how the global community can best respond to it. We look forward to reading your ideas!

News from the Accelerator – February 2020

Election for Associate Director

The PSA will soon have an election for the position of Associate Director. Associate Directors serve as a steering body for the PSA as well as functioning as liaisons between the various committees and lead teams on specific studies. We are seeking nominees for that election. If you’d like to nominate yourself or someone else, please fill out the form linked below before March 19th. We’ll reach out to all nominees to confirm whether or not they’d like to run for this office.

The PSA is also seeking members to volunteer as Election Tellers for the upcoming election. The role of a Teller is to provide accountability and ensure fairness in the election process. Tellers will be included on all official election communications and be given access to all election materials, including the final ballots. Tellers will be responsible for ensuring that the Associate Director overseeing the election (in this case, Charlie Ebersole) is following all PSA procedures fairly. They will also certify that the final vote count is accurate. This job should require minimal week-to-week effort distributed over the next three months. 

Any member of the PSA is eligible to run for Associate Director or be an Election Teller. The only restriction is that candidates in the election are ineligible to be Tellers (so if you are thinking of running for Associate Director, don’t volunteer to be a Teller). If you’d like to nominate someone for the Associate Director election or volunteer to be a Teller, please fill out this form by March 19th. This policy document contains much more info about the timeline and logistical steps of PSA elections. Also, if you have any questions about either position, don’t hesitate to reach out to me (cebersole@virginia.edu). 

Thanks!

~Charlie Ebersole

Studies 001 through 006

We also have a few exciting updates on our in-progress studies.

  • 001. The lead team is on the verge of submitting a revised version of our Stage 2 manuscript to Nature Human Behaviour and hope to have it officially accepted soon!
  • 002. We are very close to finishing data collection and will quickly turn our attention to data analysis and Stage 2 manuscript drafting when collection wraps up.
  • 003. This project is bundled with 002 for data collection, and is thus also close to wrapping up. We did not follow a registered report model for this study, so we will begin drafting a traditional manuscript for it in the near future. Target journal tbd.
  • 004. Data collection will close for this study in June, so now is the time to jump on board if you’d like to contribute! Email us for more info about joining!
  • 005. The lead team is working hard to finish up a second round of “revise and resubmit” with Nature Human Behaviour. Stay tuned for data collection commencement timeline and plans after we get that IPA 🙂
  • 006. The stage 1 RR manuscript for this study was accepted in principle at Nature Human Behaviour this month! Congrats to all our co-authors!! The team is now working hard on translations and finalizing materials to commence data collection very soon.

Coming soon

Lastly, be on the lookout for action and opportunities in the following areas in March.

  • Study Selection provisional decisions will be sent this coming month. We can’t wait to inform submitting authors and then share the news within the network (wider public announcements will come after some initial preparation and eventual official acceptances are extended).
  • Related to the point above, the Project Monitoring Committee will be looking for new project monitors to serve on these new projects (likely 2-3 new studies). You can reach out to Hannah Moshontz and/or Jordan Wagge on Slack for more info!
  • The Community Building and Network Expansion Community is planning some cool new recruitment and community building activities for 2020. They could really use some additional committee members to help plan and execute these. Please reach out to Crystal Steltenpohl and/or Natalia Dutra if you are interested.
  • Crystal is also leading the organization of a global engagement task force for the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science. She welcomes other PSA members to join in that effort if they are so inclined!