2016 Italian Constitutional Referendum Research Preacceptance Competition

On December 4, 2016, a referendum will be held in Italy on the most important reform of the Constitution since 1947. For this occasion, the Italian National Election Studies Association (ITANES) the Società Italiana di Scienza Politica (SISP), and the Italian Political Science Review (IPSR) have launched the 2016 Italian Constitutional Referendum Research Preacceptance Competition. The objective of the competition is to promote preregistration of research designs prior to conducting a study.

Participants are invited to

  1. Preregister a research design with the Open Science Framework of the Center for Open Science (COS) for a study of the 2016 constitutional referendum using ITANES data beforethe data are publicly released (we recommend participation at the COS Preregistration Challenge).
  2. Submit an article including this design to IPSR, which will consider your submission before data are available.

Participants will have the opportunity to win a € 250 SISP award for publishing their article in IPSR. Three awards are available.

IPSR is an eligible journal for the COS Preregistration Challenge. If participants have preregistered their research design with the COS Preregistration Challenge, they may also be eligible for a $1,000 award, subject to COS rules and procedures.

Participants who do not participate in the COS Preregistration Challenge are still eligible for the SISP Award as long as they have preregistered their research design with the Open Science Framework and fully complied with the Rules.

To take part in the competition, scholars must design papers using data from the 2016 ITANES referendum questionnaire which is available here, before data are publicly released.

The steps are:

  1. Preregister your design in the Open Science Framework or take part in the COS Preregistration Challenge before ITANES data are publicly released (expected release date: February 8, 2017) (preregistration is time stamped and research designs can be embargoed).
  2. Submit an article to IPSR referring to the “2016 Italian Constitutional Referendum Research Preacceptance Competition” in the cover letter. The article can be submitted before the data are available but it must include a link to a research design that was preregistered before the data were publicly released. The article will be subject to the standard reviewing process of IPSR. If the review is successful, articles that have been submitted before data release are accepted “in principle”.
  3. [If the article is accepted in principle] Submit a new version of your study with results from the preregistered design and any additional analyses agreed with IPSR.
  4. [If published] Collect your SISP and, if applicable, COS awards

Participants must be university faculty or graduate students in any discipline. The effective deadline for preregistering the research design is the actual release date of ITANES data. Members of ITANES are eligible but they must register the research design before the surveys are conducted.

Preregistered designs and the corresponding articles must identify the items from the ITANES questionnaires that will be used. They must explain exactly how they will be coded and analyzed to test the proposed hypotheses. A preregistration template is available here. The inclusion of ITANES data that has not been released at the time of registration is a necessary condition for participating in the competition, but other data sources can be used in the analysis. Participants must list these other data sources in their preregistered designs.

Scholars will receive the SISP Award at the SISP Annual Conference.

Key Deadlines

For Preregistration: By 11.59 p.m. of the day prior to the public release of ITANES data (the expected date is: February 8, 2017)

For Preregistration (ITANES members only): By 11.59 p.m. of the day prior to the beginning of ITANES surveys.

For the Award: Acceptance of the Article by the IPSR by 11:59 pm CET on December 31, 2018.

A complete list of rules governing the 2016 Italian Constitutional Referendum Research Preacceptance Competition are available here.