You can download the referenced training materials (the videos, slides and embedded audio files, and scripts for each video) from our OSF Tutorial Videos page: https://osf.io/8akz5/.
The CREP training videos are also directly available on YouTube:
- Signing up for CREP
- Creating an OSF page
- Preparing and submitting a CREP project
- Completing a CREP project
There is increasing recognition of the need for greater inclusion of researchers from the global south (Arnett, 2008; Dutra, 2020; Kalinga, 2019; Tiokhin et al., 2019). One way to achieve inclusion is to provide access to (or create) training materials for researchers to use readily available open science tools. We are trying to tackle this challenge by engaging African researchers in the Collaborative Replications and Education (CREP) project. This process involves many steps, and we first needed to provide materials for African researchers and platforms for knowledge exchange while minding the research cultures and practices in these countries.
In this post, we describe one part of this process of supporting African researchers using the CREP model: the creation of training materials through a workshop and hackathon at the 2021 annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). Our efforts were supported by an International Bridge-Building grant awarded by SPSP, which provided Internet access for one year, a free one-year membership, and free conference registrations to 15 African researchers, allowing them to participate in the workshop. We will describe the process we followed for our workshop and summarize the feedback we received. This experience taught us that though the CREP model is adoptable in Africa, there is need for greater support and more training to propagate the use of CREP amongst African researchers.
What is the Collaborative Replications and Education Project?
The Collaborative Research and Education Project is a collaborative research platform for instructors and students of tertiary institutions worldwide. The initiative was a response to improve research credibility, participation, and inclusion in research globally by providing a collaborative platform to conduct crowdsourced research replication projects (Wagge et al., 2019). It was founded in 2013 by Jon Grahe, Mark Brandt, and Hans IJzerman “to provide training, support, and professional growth opportunities for students and instructors completing replication projects, while also addressing the need for direct and direct+ replications of highly-cited studies in the field” (Grahe et al., 2020). The CREP goal of training and creating opportunities while adhering to open science practices thus strongly aligns with our goal of supporting African researchers in adopting open science practices.
The general CREP model
Our identification with the CREP is not a coincidence, as its model was designed to conduct crowdsourced replication studies with structured procedures and feedback moments to encourage open science practices. The CREP is flexible to accommodate users’ realities, but does not compromise rigor. The CREP model also has some built-in teaching procedures to help users conduct these replication studies. For example, users must create an OSF page, document the data collection procedures, share their research methods and procedures and data on the projects’ OSF page to be reproducible. Once completed, the page goes through a review of more experienced CREP collaborators. For more information on how to conduct a CREP study, see their step-by-step guidelines. For researchers currently interested in participating in CREP projects, visit the CREP OSF page for their ongoing studies.
Creating the CREP training videos
As part of our larger mission to involve more African researchers in collaborative research, we are looking to work with African researchers on CREP crowdsourced replication studies, the CREP Project Africa. These include two replication studies of which African researchers conduct the first study, while African students conduct a second study. Given that most of our African collaborators are not unfamiliar with some of these open science practices, and that using the CREP requires some training, we decided to create training videos. Here is what we have done so far:
- Stage 1: Creating CREP training videos. Dr. Jordan Wagge, the current Executive Director of CREP, created a series of four CREP training videos. During the Psychological Science Accelerator’s 2020 virtual conference, we organized a hackathon, where researchers from Malawi and Nigeria provided feedback on the videos Dr. Wagge created. The attendees gave feedback on the content, quality of delivery, and the usefulness of the videos. The feedback was used to finetune these videos; Dr. Wagge made changes to the videos and then posted them on YouTube.
- Stage 2: Subtitling the CREP training videos. The original videos were recorded in English. However, in order to reach a wider audience, particularly for a multilingual population like the African one, it is imperative to communicate the content of these videos in languages spoken in Africa. We sought our African collaborators’ help in translating the scripts of these videos. We subtitled these videos in six languages (Arabic, Chichewa, Igbo, Portuguese, Swahili, and Yoruba) commonly spoken in several African countries. These videos can be accessed via the links below:
Researchers interested in using these videos to train non-English speaking users can assess the subtitles by clicking on “Settings” to pop-up a list containing “Subtitles/CC.” Click on “Subtitles/CC” to reveal the list of language subtitles and click the preferred language.
Training African researchers: the SPSP 2021 workshop and hackathon
To effectively deliver training on open science and the CREP model, we proposed to the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP, https://www.spsp.org/), an organization of social and personality psychologists, to organize a workshop and hackathon on open science and to create syllabi for teaching CREP as a research methods course. Our proposal was approved for inclusion in their 2021 virtual convention, and the event was funded by SPSP’s International Bridge-Building Award.
First, as our goal is to give African researchers the tools to understand the CREP model so that they can pass these insights on to their students and collaborators, we provided African researchers with syllabi that use the CREP model so that they can be integrated into research methods courses in Africa. These syllabi outline how to structure the course, key topics to be taught, and recommend resources to teach the CREP model. For example, Dr. Wagge prepared a CREP Sample syllabus and Dr. IJzerman, Course Syllabus Introduction à la Recherche.
Second, the workshop we organized consisted of 45 minutes of two introductory talks on open science and CREP. First, Dr. Patrick Forscher described how open science movements increase access to research articles, assets, and collaborators, and how the CREP fits into these movements. Dr. Jordan Wagge then described the CREP model of selecting CREP projects, users’ guidelines for conducting CREP studies, data analyzing processes, and CREP users’ benefits. After these talks, we organized another 45 minutes of hackathon in which Dr. Wagge led the discussion on adopting the CREP models as a research method in African tertiary institutions. To capture individual participants’ thoughts about the CREP model, we then broke out into two discussion rooms providing leading questions on 1) Where would the CREP model fit in the curriculum? 2) What are the barriers to adopting CREP? and 3) What are the benefits to students and supervisors? The recorded video of the workshop is available on Whova SPSP 2021 event video gallery.
Feedback on the SPSP workshop from African researchers
Perhaps the CREP model is not as useful as we thought it would be beforehand? To further understand the level of interest from African researchers and students in using the CREP model and the feasibility of teaching the CREP model in African institutions, we surveyed 16 African researchers (from Cameroon, Malawi, Nigeria, and Tanzania). These respondents either attended our SPSP workshop or have gone through the training materials. We present participants’ responses in the chart below.
The African researchers in our workshop thought the workshop and hackathon were helpful (panel a). While all respondents agreed to the teaching of open science and open science practices in African institutions (panel c), about 70% expressed that African institutions would be very interested in teaching open science (panel b).
When asked about the willingness to learn and teach open science by African students and researchers, respectively, about 80% of respondents had no doubt African students would be open to learning open science. However, only about 30% of respondents were definite that African researchers would be willing to teach open science.
If we considered the question about adopting the CREP model as a research method, 68.8% of the respondents were definite about the CREP model adaptable for their research projects (panel g). About 70% of the respondents indicated that adopting the CREP model for African students’ research work is very feasible (panel h). However, they were not very optimistic for African institutions adopting the CREP model for students’ research works, with just 25% being explicit about the idea (panel f). Meanwhile, respondents to the survey indicated that several barriers to adopting the CREP model in Africa exist, such as 1) poor infrastructure and resources, more importantly for African students to participate in CREP, 2) African researchers low familiarity with the CREP model and open science tools, and 3) (in)availability and (in)accessibility to CREP materials and tools.
Takeaways from the SPSP training workshop
Overall, we have been working with 47 researchers for CREP Africa. Out of those 47, 19 expressed interest in participating in the convention and workshop (we don’t know why others could not or did not want to attend). There was thus quite a reasonable interest from our colleagues in participating in international events. However, many African researchers are underresourced (e.g., funding), and research infrastructures in these countries are often lacking (e.g., unstable internet connection). Researchers and research organizations in developed countries can support these researchers by creating initiatives and providing small grants (for membership and conference registration fee waivers) to allow African researchers to participate in these global events regularly.
Specifically, in our workings with African collaborators on this workshop, we noted that 1) some apps and other online processes might have been relatively new to African researchers, and 2) resources needed to keep up with the discussions might not have been accessible to them. What we noticed that really helped our collaborators was just brief engagement prior to the start of the event. What can really help is taking a brief moment to walk through detailed instructions on the conference registration procedures, navigating the event’s apps, and accessing the convention sessions. Concerning the accessibility of resources, one can share resources (like links, tools, training materials) needed before the events to allow participants familiar with the concepts to be discussed.
More specifically, for our workshop, we observed that adopting the CREP model in Africa seems more feasible, drawing from the feedback we got from our collaborators. However, we noted the realities of resources (such as unstable internet access, computer literacy) and the unpopularity of the CREP model might impact African researchers’ involvement.
As ways to tackle these barriers, African collaborators suggested regular training programs, resource available and accessible, providing grants for underresourced researchers, propagating the CREP model in African institutions by involving African researchers and students more in the CREP projects.In conclusion, organizing training workshops for African researchers can be beneficial. Indeed, it provides the necessary experience for both the trainers and trainees. Specifically, it can help build African researchers’ research capacity, give African researchers much-needed resources and international conference experience, and improve participation and collaboration between African and non-African researchers.
We are very grateful to the SPSP 2021 convention organizers for their organizational and financial commitment that allowed 15 African researchers to participate in the convention and more specifically the diversity committee that supported the SPSP International Bridge-Building Award. Further, we are really grateful to Travis Clark for all his help and the extensive administrative assistance. Finally, we want to express our gratitude to our African collaborators who helped translate the CREP videos (see list of translators).
This blog post was written by Adeyemi Adetula, Dana Basnight-Brown, Jordan Wagge, Patrick Forscher, and Hans IJzerman.