This is a periodic newsletter of the interesting things we’ve seen and what we are thinking about in open source policy analysis.

AEI researchers offer a framework for estimating vaccine efficacy. Among the criteria for regulatory approval of a COVID-19 vaccine, the vaccine must meet a minimum threshold for efficacy in trials. Since vaccine trials are conducted on a sample of the population, efficacy must be estimated with statistics. James Capretta and Scott Ganz (AEI) released a new report and accompanying simulation model illustrating how we may learn of a vaccine's efficacy before we understand its safety. The project is now available in the OSPC Portfolio. Report, Code

Open datasets from AEI's new survey center. The Survey Center on American Life launched and released a new open dataset. The center will measure and assess the evolution of Americans' views on "critical issues in American public and private life." Link

A major US medical research organization will only fund open-access research. Adopting an open-access standard, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, one of the US's largest funders of biomedical research, will require all grantees to make their papers available to the public upon publication. Link

Open-source packages to access opioid disbursement data. Journalists from The Washington Post and researchers from the University of Maryland, College Park, have released twin software packages, one in R and one in Python, providing access to data from the Drug Enforcement Administration's Automation of Reports and Consolidated Order System from 2006 to 2014. The dataset tracks the disbursement of restricted drugs throughout the US and includes point-of-sale distribution and frequency of disbursement. Before use, consider your views on data privacy. The authors note:  "For a variety of reasons ranging from patient confidentiality to protecting trade secrets, access to sub-state ARCOS data is available only for approved requests (e.g. research or litigation) (Grubbs, 2014). Recent litigation efforts by The Washington Post, HD Media, and local journalists allowed for the public release of an anonymized, large portion of the ARCOS database." Link

Edited by Matt Jensen, Peter Metz, and Jacob Chuslo