Book Project 

My current book project: Fear Friction and Flooding: The Surprising Impacts of Incomplete Censorship uses new methods of measuring censorship and propaganda to explore how different mechanisms of censorship influence consumption of information in China. It is based on my dissertation.

Working Papers

  • William Hobbs and Margaret E. Roberts. 2016. “How Sudden Censorship Can Increase Access to Information”. Copy here
  • Roberts, Margaret E, Brandon M. Stewart and Richard Nielsen.  “Matching Methods for High-Dimensional Data with Applications to Text.” Copy here.
  • Horowitz M, Stewart B, Tingley D, Bishop M, Resnick L, Roberts M, Chang W, Mellers B, Tetlock P. “What Makes Foreign Policy Teams Tick: Explaining Variation in Group Performance At Geopolitical Forecasting.”
    Copy available here

Published Papers

    • Gary King, Jennifer Pan, and Margaret E. Roberts. 2016. “How the Chinese Government Fabricates Social Media Posts for Strategic Distraction, not Engaged Argument”. American Political Science Review. Copy at
  • King, Gary, Patrick Lam, and Margaret E. Roberts.  “Computer-Assisted Keyword and Document Set Discovery from Unstructured Text.” American Journal of Political Science. Copy here.
  • Roberts Margaret E, Stewart Brandon M, Airoldi Edo M.  “A model of text for experimentation in the social sciences.”  Forthcoming, Journal of the American Statistical Association.  Copy here.
  • Roberts, Margaret E, Stewart, Brandon, & Tingley, Dustin.  “Navigating the Local Modes of Big Data: The Case of Topic Models.” Forthcoming In Computational Social Science, New York: Cambridge University Press.  Copy here.
  • Monroe, Burt, Jennifer Pan, Margaret E. Roberts,  Maya Sen, and Betsy Sinclair.  2015.  “No! Formal Theory, Causal Inference, and Big Data Are Not Contradictory Trends in Political Science.”   PS: Political Science and Politics. 48, no 1 pg 71-41.
  • Reich, Justin, Tingley, Dustin, Leder-Luis, Jetson, Roberts, Margaret E., & Stewart, Brandon M.  “Computer Assisted Reading and Discovery for Student Generated Text.”  2015. Journal of Learning Analytics. Copy here.
  • Lucas, Christopher, Richard Nielsen, Margaret E. Roberts, Brandon M. Stewart, Alex Storer, and Dustin Tingley.  2014.  “Computer assisted text analysis for comparative politics.” Political Analysis Copy here.
  • King, Gary and Margaret E. Roberts. “How Robust Standard Errors Expose Methodological Problems They Do Not Fix.” Political Analysis 2014. copy here.
  • Roberts, Margaret E, Brandon Stewart, Dustin Tingley, Chris Lucas, Jetson Leder-Luis, Bethany Albertson, Shana Gadarian, and David Rand.   “Topic models for open-ended survey responses with applications to experiments.” forthcoming, American Journal of Political Science. (2014).  Copy here.
  • King, Gary, Jennifer Pan, and Margaret E. Roberts.  “Reverse Engineering Chinese Censorship: Randomized Experimentation and Participant Observation”  Science (2014). Copy here.  [press about the paper on NPR and in the WSJ
  • King, Gary, Jennifer Pan, and Margaret E. Roberts. “How Censorship in China Allows Government Criticism but Silences Collective Expression.” American Political Science Review (2013). copy at [press about the paper in the WSJ and in the Economist
  • Roberts Margaret E, Stewart Brandon M, Tingley Dustin, Airoldi Edo M. “The Structural Topic Model and Applied Social Science.” Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems Workshop on Topic Models: Computation, Application, and Evaluation. 2013. Copy here Peer-Reviewed Conference Workshop. Selected for Oral Presentation.

Previous Work

  • Senior Honors Thesis: Roberts, Margaret E. “The U.S.-China Trade Relationship: Explaining U.S. Anti-Dumping Duties on China”.  Stanford Center for International Development Working Paper 360.
  • Wolfgang Bothe, Tom C. Nguyen, Margaret E. Roberts, Tomasz A. Timek, Akinobu Itoh, Neil B. Ingels, Jr.,c,David Craig Miller, “Presystolic mitral annular septal–lateral shortening is independent from left atrial and left ventricular contraction during acute volume depletion.” European Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery 2009;36:236-243.
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