Here I propose procedural replication as a method for diagnosing errors and omissions and identifying research artifacts in published studies. The goal of procedural replication is not to make substantive contributions so much as improve research practice, or how scientists go about doing science. This is accomplished by generating checklists of lessons learned that scholars can use to assess the reliability of new or existing studies, guide editorial reviews, and make scientific knowledge production more reliable. I demonstrate the method by implementing a procedural replication of Michael Ross’s controversial finding that democracy has no effect on child mortality. I find this null finding is an artifact of the way five-year averages were computed and the static nature of the preferred model. I demonstrate, using causal diagrams, how concerns about listwise deletion and selection bias affecting previous studies may have been overstated. I also provide a checklist with lessons learned.
Martel García, F. (2014). Democracy is good for the poor: A procedural replication of ross (2006). Research and Politics, 1(3). https://doi.org/10.1177/2053168014559094