Faunalytics is an organization committed to providing rigorous research and high-quality data.
Quality Research In Our Library
Our Research Library contains a collection of thousands of studies, carefully curated to emphasize those of relevance to animal advocates in their specific topic area. The curation process involves the following steps:
- First, potential articles are gathered from a variety of sources, including active searching by our staff, Google alerts on specific topics and keywords, aggregate newsletters related to animal issues, listservs, suggestions from readers, and more.
- We read the abstracts and overviews of articles to understand how the research might be of direct relevance to animal advocates. When relevance can’t be established from these sources but the article still seems to have potential, we will read the conclusions for further info.
- Articles that pass this step are added to a master list of upcoming library summaries.
After passing the curation process, studies are assigned to one of a team of writers who summarize the study according to our Content & Style Guide. Though we do not have minimum educational requirements for writers, they are generally university-educated (with Bachelor’s degrees or higher).
Finally, all summaries are edited by our Content Director or another trained editor. During this process, the editor may raise questions about the summary, or the paper itself, and fact-check claims as needed. In cases where our editorial process does not catch an error or omission and a reader brings this to our attention, we go back through our documentation of the summary and any edits made, as well as the original research, and make corrections.
We strive to include the best available research on animal issues, and each item in our research library clearly indicates whether or not the source was published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Peer-reviewed sources are used whenever possible, though we also summarize well-conducted research by other animal advocacy groups, market research groups, polling companies, and individual researchers.
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. See our Prioritization page for more details about how we prioritize and select research projects, as well as the specific projects we have identified as priorities.
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.