A: We are a large, international network of labs dedicated to completing multi-site projects. You can read more about our background, mission, core principles, plans, and policies, here.
Q: How was the PSA created?
A: The PSA grew out of several working groups at meetings of the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science that were attempting to devise ways to collect larger and more diverse and representative samples. After substantial discussion with those working groups, Chris Chartier went on a bike ride in which he devised a possible solution: we should make a “CERN for psychological science.” He wrote a blog post of his idea that generated lots of interest. We have been riding that wave of enthusiasm ever since. :
Q: How does the PSA operate?
A: We collaborate with the proposing authors of selected studies to finalize study plans, conduct large-scale data collection across many labs, and then disseminate results. Our full process is summarized in this figure:
Q: How is the PSA structured?
A: Most day-to-day operations in the PSA happen within one of its nine committees. Each committee has between one and two Assistant Directors who help set the priorities for the committees and set meeting agendas. The PSA also has five Associate Directors and one Director who help ensure that the PSA’s activities are in line with its principles.
Q: How does the PSA make decisions?
A: Decisions concerning PSA policy happen by a vote of the members of the PSA, in line with its principle of decentralized authority. However, the Director, Associate Directors, Assistant Directors, and committee members make some day-to-day operations questions by fiat.
Q: How does the leadership team get elected?
A: The Director, Associate and Assistant Directors are elected on a rotating schedule. Advertisements for openings are posted online on the PSA website, Slack Channel, and Twitter. The schedule and frequency of the rotating elections can be found here.
Contributing to the PSA
Q: How do I join the PSA?
A: The first step is to fill out a brief info form, which you can reach from the “Get Involved” page on our website. The “Get Involved” page contains other steps you can take to contribute to the PSA after you fill out the form, including joining a committee, reviewing a study, collecting data for a study, or submitting a study.
Q: Do I have to lead a lab to join?
A: No. Researchers of all types are welcome to join the PSA. You can contribute in many ways, including providing help with methodology, statistics, community building, and collecting data.
Q: Is there a membership fee to join and/or participate in the PSA activities/studies?
Q: What are some of the ways that I can contribute to the PSA?
A: First, you can join a study to contribute data or other expertise! You can also join a committee to contribute to the conversation around ethics, data management, training, or community building, or other topics. The PSA Slack channel is a great way to find ways to contribute to the PSA. Last, feel free to help fund raise!
Q: How can I join a committee?
A: Committees who are actively looking for members will advertise their need through PSA channels (i.e. on PSA Twitter, via monthly email, on the website). So follow PSA Twitter, sign up for the monthly newsletter or join PSA Slack to get the new first hand. In the meantime, if you have a specific committee in mind, you can check PSA ‘People’ page and contact the Assistant Director of the committee of interest.
Q: What expertise is required to join the committee?
A: You don’t need any special expertise for most types of committee work. However, there are some types of committee work where expertise may be helpful. For example, if you want to review a study for the Study Selection Committee, expertise related to a specific proposal may help you submit a higher quality review. As another example, developing analysis plans for the Data and Methods Committee requires some comfort and facility with specific areas of methods and statistics.
Q: Does each member have to collect data for a study to be involved?
A: no! Participation can take many forms! You can collect data for a study, join a committee, contribute your methodological or statistical expertise, provide feedback on drafts/documents, and much more. Specific studies have guidelines for contributorship to be included on potential publications, and these are often more than just data collection.
Q: Can the PSA guarantee that certain languages/cultures will be included in data collection of its studies?
A: No. While we can strive to translate materials into as many languages as possible for a study, we rely on the contributions of our distributed researcher network, and it is not always possible to connect an appropriate translation team to a specific study.
Q: Does the PSA provide funds for the participating laboratories?
A: It is possible to apply for funding to join a PSA project in the form of small data collection awards. These are decided on a case by case basis.
Submitting a Study to the PSA
Q: Who can submit a study?
A: Literally anyone! Submissions are masked to avoid prestige, status, or other biases in study selection.
Q: How and when can I submit a study?
A: Calls for study submissions are posted periodically to the PSA blog with specific deadlines. Submissions take the form of Registered Report style manuscripts, in which the proposing team outlines the rationale, proposed methodology, and proposed analysis plans for the study. Our next deadline is September 15th, 2019, and you can read more about the specifics of study submissions here.
Q: Why should I submit my study to the PSA?
A: Selection by the PSA provides access to a large pool of possible data collection labs and data collection resources. It also connects you to a highly energetic and expert team of collaborators across our various committees.
Q: Why should I not submit my study to the PSA?
A: If there is no need for large-scale distributed data collection, or you are not comfortable joining a large team of collaborators on your work, the PSA is likely not a good fit for your project.
Q: What are the possible outcomes of the submission?
A: Submissions to the PSA can be desk rejected if they do not meet a minimal quality standard (as judged by the Study Selection Committee) or basic feasibility requirements (if they require extremely hard to secure resources or funding). Submissions that receive full review can receive provisional acceptance, rejection, minor revise and resubmit (within the same call for studies), and major revise and resubmit (resubmission welcomed for the next call for studies).