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Part-Time Opportunity for Graduate Student: Computational Reproducibility and Verification

Join a team conducting computational reproducibility and data quality checks of articles slated for publication in premiere social science journals. The Verifier position offers graduate students an excellent opportunity to advance their skills and knowledge in statistical methods, coding, and data management while gaining an in-depth perspective of the scholarly publication landscape and broader issues related to reproducible research.

Scroll down to find a testimonial from one of our long-time verifiers about his time in the position.

What does a verifier do?

As a verifier, you will:

  • Execute the analysis using the author-provided code, data, and supplemental material to produce results presented in the manuscript,
  • Compare your results, tables, and figures to those in the manuscript, and
  • Record the results of this attempt in a standardized report, which is submitted to the journal’s editorial staff.

While some analyses are straightforward, others can be quite complex with multiple code and dataset files, idiosyncratic programming packages, and hours-long processing requirements.

What makes a good verifier:

  • Applied knowledge in a variety of statistical methods including regression analysis (linear, logistic, ordinal), ANOVA, multilevel/hierarchical modeling, generalized linear modeling, factor analysis and structural equation modeling,
  • Expertise in statistical software packages especially both R and Stata,
  • Aptitude for identifying and diagnosing errors in analysis code,
  • Ability to communicate effectively and concisely in written correspondence, and
  • Capacity to manage several concurrent projects and set reasonable priorities for project completion.

Still Interested?

The verification work at the Odum Institute is ongoing; we are seeking candidates that:

  • Are able to begin work during the summer and continue throughout the year,
  • Commit at least 10 hours per week, which you can perform remotely and have a flexible schedule,
  • Attend occasional team meetings, in person and remote options are available, and
  • Must be a currently enrolled UNC graduate student.

Pay is $24/hour. Tuition and insurance benefits are not offered for this position.

This position is now closed.

A headshot of Devin Jacob Christensen.My job isn’t to police people; it’s to offer insight, advice, and helpful troubleshooting feedback to enable them to bring their good work to the research community in a way that better embodies the values of the discipline.  [Since realizing that], I feel that my work for Odum has improved, authors find my feedback more useful, and I have developed skills that more specifically contribute to my being a more productive, friendly, and collaborative colleague.

These skills have helped me to establish a better professional demeanor in my own work, and they help me navigate some of my own frustrations as a researcher.  Finally, this perspective on academic research – as fundamentally a collaborative effort shared by many disparate actors – helps me to envision the academy more generally as a cooperative endeavor, which works against both graduate training and publication procedures which situate scholars in a competitive, high-stakes battle with one another over citations, confirmatory results, and prestigious publications.

In brief, the most valuable dividend I’ve received from my work at Odum is the opportunity to participate in a process that invites broad cooperation from those involved in the research process, against the backdrop of intense, and often unfriendly, competition incentivized by the general model of academic career advancement in the contemporary American academy.

—Devin Christensen, Odum Verifier 2017-2022

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