Aligning Publishing Incentives with Research Transparency and Integrity

Saturday, February 13, 2016: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Marriott Balcony A (Marriott Wardman Park)
A purported strength of the scientific method is that it produces observable data using rigorously documented and reproducible methods. Unfortunately, many scientific studies fail to live up to these standards. In some fields, a substantial proportion of tested empirical claims have been shown not to be replicable. Other investigations have shown that some results are the product of “significance fishing” (i.e., choosing a statistical model based on whether it delivers a pre-determined result). These failures are sometimes rooted in a misalignment between incentives to produce the novel, significant results that scientific journals prefer to publish, and incentives to produce and share reliable information. As a result, many researchers find it impossible to obtain full and accurate information about methods, data, and analyses that would allow them to assess the validity of others’ scientific claims. This panel showcases several initiatives designed to align publication incentives with information-sharing incentives. A central initiative is the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines, co-developed by researchers, editors, publishers, scientific societies, and funders. The symposium discusses the initiative’s efforts to articulate different levels of transparency that journals can try to meet, as well as the complementary ways scientific and funding organizations are seeking to incentivize sharing all information that is critical to validating scientific claims.
Barbara Spellman, University of Virginia School of Law
Arthur Lupia, University of Michigan
Brian Nosek, Center for Open Science
Providing Infrastructure to Encourage Better Science
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