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Call for Papers: Special Issue on ‘Replications in Agricultural Economics’ in AEPP

An important quality characteristic of scientific research is that it is falsifiable and replicable. If findings from scientific articles are not replicable or are not attempted to be falsified, this renders conclusions less reliable. This is especially relevant in the field of agricultural economics research, where scientific results are frequently used to design or modify policies. Replication studies offer the potential to gain new insights from answering previously answered research questions by (1) applying the same or similar methods to other data sets or (2) applying alternative or more appropriate (new) methods to existing data sets or modeling frameworks. This contributes to the assessment of the robustness of earlier research findings

We invite submissions to a special issue on ‘Replications in Agricultural Economics’ in the journal
Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy (AEPP). With this special issue, we aim to initiate a new research stream in agricultural economics and foster the use of replication as structural element of our discipline.

The primary purpose of a replication is to confirm the validity of a study previously published in a leading journal in the field of agricultural economics. We consider replications of all types of articles, e.g., econometric analysis, experimental work, as well as, optimization and simulation models. Considered replication studies shall preferably consist of two parts:

In the first part, key findings from the original study shall be reproduced. This should be based on a data set, experiment, or model that is identical to the original study. If the original results cannot be exactly reproduced, then the replicating researcher is required to contact the original author to reconcile any differences. All communication (emails etc.) on this exchange should be submitted to the journal.

In the second part, further robustness checks on the above generated findings shall be provided. This can include, for example, alternative variable specifications, new (more recent, from another context etc.) data, an alternative experimental set-up, alternative estimation procedures, other optimization or simulation models, or other specifications of these models. Authors need to clarify how the presented analysis constitutes a replication of previous research.

If the experimental instructions, data sets or models that were used in the replicated study are unavailable, researchers should use experimental instructions, data sets or models that are as similar as possible to those in the replicated study (as substitute for the first part) and then apply a broad range of robustness checks in the second part.

Both confirming and disconfirming replications will be published. The main criterion for assessment of the replication is a high standard of the methodological approach and clarity. Replication articles are full-length articles. Multiple replications of an original article by different replicating authors can be published.

A two-tier selection procedure will be used for this special issue: First, researchers who are interested in contributing to the special issue shall submit a short (ca. 2 pages) concept note describing the envisioned content and approach by January 15, 2021. The guest editors will provide feedback on the submitted concept notes to support researchers, as well as, to enable an efficient submission process.

Full papers need to be submitted by January 15, 2022.1 After an editorial pre-screening, the submitted papers will be sent to the original author(s) asking for feedback AND sent to at least one guest editor and one anonymous reviewer (which can be the author of another replication study for the special issue) for reviews. The guest editors will accept the paper for publication in the special issue if the analyses are conducted with methodological rigor, the analysis and the results are presented in a clear (and reproducible) way, and the paper is in line with the originally submitted concept note and the guest editors’ feedback on the concept note. If the decision is to publish, the original author(s) are invited to submit a new reply in response to the final revised version which will be published as well if it is written in a clear and factual way. Detailed instructions for preparing and submitting concept notes are given on the following page. Instructions for the full papers will be sent along with the feedback on the concept notes.

Guest editors are Robert Finger, ETH Zürich, Switzerland; Carola Grebitus, Arizona State University, USA; and Arne Henningsen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

If the COVID-19 pandemic continues for a longer period of time and, thus, prevents researchers from conducting or replicating lab experiments or surveys, an extension of the submission deadline will be considered.