Consortium for the Advancement of Special Education Research

  • Research Lab

What We Do

CASPER’s mission is to advance open science in special education and related fields by (a) conducting meta-research, (b) providing recommendations and resources, and (c) conducting and disseminating open research. 

Our Vision

CASPER seeks to advance the openness, quality, and impact of science in special education. CASPER proposes that researchers in special education adopt open science reforms, such as preprints, data and materials sharing, and preregistration of studies and analysis plans.

What We Hope

Adoption of these practices will require shifts in cultural norms and guidelines; however, they will increase the trustworthiness of scientific evidence, the quality of research, and consequently, move special education towards greater empirical certainty and more effective practices. 

Why is Open Science Needed? 

  • Less than 1% of articles published in special education journals are replication studies   -- Lemons et al., 2016; Makel et al. (2016) 
  • 4% of intervention studies in special education and related fields reported solely null findings – Kittelman et al., 2018; Therrien and Cook (2018) 
  • Published single-case design studies examining pivotal response theory for individuals with autism reported 22% larger effects than unpublished studies – Sham and Smith (2014) 
  • 4-15% of single-case design researchers reported they would drop one or two cases with small effects from a study before submitting it for publication – Shadish, Zelinsky, Vevea, and Kratochwill, 2016


Associated EHD Faculty

Bryan Cook

Bryan Cook

  • Professor
William J Therrien

William J. Therrien

  • Thomas G. Jewell Professor of Education

CASPER Partners

CASPER Lab Publications

Promoting Open Science to Increase the Trustworthiness of Evidence in Special Education

We discuss how adopting open-science practices can advance the quality of research and, consequently, policy and practice in special education.

Introduction to Special Issue: Null Effects and Publication Bias in Learning Disabilities Research

In this article, we first define null findings and publication bias as they relate to group and single-subject instructional intervention research.

Null Effects and Publication Bias in Special Education Research

This special issue of Behavioral Disorders provides an outlet for methodologically sound studies with null findings.

A Replication by Any Other Name: A Systematic Review of Replicative Intervention Studies

We examined whether the 83 intervention studies published in six non-categorical research journals in special education in 2013 and 2014 might be considered replications.

Recommendations for Replication Research in Special Education: A Framework of Systematic, Conceptual Replications

The purpose of this article is to consider the potential benefits of conceptualizing special education intervention research within a framework of systematic, conceptual replication.

Replication Research and Special Education

This article introduces the special issue on replication of special education intervention research by first providing an overview of concepts and issues related to replication.

Progeny Review: An Alternative Approach for Examining the Replication of Intervention Studies in Special Education

In this review, we examined the extent and nature of replication of intervention research in special education using an “article progeny” approach and a three-pronged definition of replication (direct, conceptual, intervention overlap).