Thicket is a platform for exploring economic research and policy debates. It provides new, visual ways to search and browse academic work, and connects it to policy questions. Users can add their own ideas and contradict or refine arguments that others have made. Thicket is a collaborative effort to organize knowledge and make it accessible.

Who is Thicket for?

Thicket is designed to bridge the gap between expert research and non-experts: students, policymakers, journalists, and regular people interested in the same questions researchers are. You might find Thicket useful if:

you are a student who…

  • is trying to make an argument or address counter-arguments for a paper
  • needs a better understanding of current research

you are an academic who…

  • thinks the public could benefit from a better understanding of your research
  • wants to explore research topics outside your area of expertise

you are a journalist or policymaker who…

  • is trying to understand expert consensus about an issue
  • wants to find research evidence about a specific policy
  • is hoping to find evidence to support your position in a debate, or better understand the other side

you are anybody else who…

  • is curious about economics, politics, and public policy
  • is looking for earnest, respectful, and informed debate about ideas and policies

…but what does Thicket actually do?

At its core, Thicket is two things: (1) a visual way to browse and organize social science research papers, and (2) a collaborative platform to construct arguments and map them to available evidence.

Think of it as a visual, collaborative Google Scholar that aims to also provide theoretical context for academic work: Have the ideas in this paper been discredited or have they spawned an entire sub-discipline? Are the findings conclusive or just suggestive? What other areas of research have addressed the same questions that this paper is asking? Is this paper ignoring important questions or counter-arguments?

Great! Where do I start?

You can get started using Thicket right now–check out the ‘tour’ link near the top of the main page if you’re not a fan of randomly clicking around to start off. You’ll need to sign up to edit arguments and relationships, store lists, or post in the forum. You can also sign up for our mailing list or for RSS blog updates if you are interested.