Faunalytics is an organization committed to providing rigorous research and high-quality data.
Quality Research In Our Library
Our Research Library contains a carefully curated collection of thousands of studies that have been summarized by trained personnel and experienced volunteers.
We strive to include the best available research on animal issues and make an effort to note when methodologies don’t meet a rigorous standard. Each item in our research library clearly indicates whether or not the source was peer-reviewed by the scientific community. Peer-reviewed sources are used whenever possible.
Quality Original Research
Our original research studies are designed and conducted by personnel with decades of collective research experience, and are reviewed by the advocacy community for quality and usefulness to animal advocates.
Excelling In Methodology
Faunalytics’ researchers have PhD-level training and years of experience in social science, research methodology, and statistics (for details, see the Team page). We are also grateful for the support of a team of research volunteers, many of whom have graduate-level training in research-related fields.
In addition, all of Faunalytics’ original studies are reviewed internally by at least two people, and we solicit external peer review from other researchers in the animal advocacy community before running any major study.
As part of our design process, we conduct power analyses for all new studies to ensure that sample sizes are large enough to detect meaningful effects.
And finally, we use nationally representative participant samples and/or data weighting for all major studies that are intended to produce population estimates.
Faunalytics strives to provide data that can help as many animals as possible by taking on research with high potential impact. We prioritize and select research questions based on a multi-stage process of suggestion, feedback, and review. Reviewers include not just Faunalytics’ research team, but researchers and non-research advocates from other animal advocacy organizations.
After a qualitative triage phase, final decisions are based on three impact criteria–potential impact for animals, number of groups likely to use the findings, and interest/visibility of the findings–as well as four additional considerations–project feasibility, adequacy of existing research, whether the project will guide and support further research, and approximate cost.
These criteria, while imperfect, provide a coarse metric of how much impact new projects might be expected to have. This ensures that our work will be as impactful for animals and the movement as possible. For more information, see our Prioritization page and the blog linked above.
Safeguarding Data Quality
In the age of survey farms, VPNs, and bots, ensuring high-quality survey responses from online sources is an arms race.
Faunalytics has created a data quality assurance plan, and we encourage other researchers to do the same. We will review and update this plan regularly. For every original study we conduct, we will decide on and pre-register a set of exclusion criteria for removing low-quality or suspicious responses.
Leading On Transparency And Openness
Transparency and openness are key principles in research to ensure that findings can be understood and replicated by others.
Since 2016, Faunalytics has led the way with our promotion of transparency and openness in research, pre-registering our independent study designs, and making methods, data, and materials freely available on a public repository. You can find Faunalytics’ research materials on our Open Science Framework page.
In 2019, we took our commitment a step further by becoming a signatory to the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines. The TOP Guidelines provide actionable steps for institutions to practice and promote transparent, reproducible, and rigorous research. Faunalytics supports the principles expressed in the guidelines and strives to adhere to a specific set of criteria, as described in detail here.
Ensuring Ethical Research Practices
Faunalytics is committed to conducting research and handling research data in an ethical manner, as described in our Research Ethics and Data Handling Policy. The purpose of the standards outlined in the policy is to facilitate the conduct of research that respects the dignity and preserves the well-being of the research participants, researchers, and the broader research community.