Questionable and open research practices: attitudes and perceptions among quantitative communication researchers

Authors : Bert Bakker, Kokil Jaidka, Timothy Dörr, Neil Fasching, Yphtach Lelkes

Recent contributions have questioned the credibility of quantitative communication research. While questionable research practices are believed to be widespread, evidence for this claim is primarily derived from other disciplines.

Before change in communication research can happen, it is important to document the extent to which QRPs are used and whether researchers are open to the changes proposed by the so-called open science agenda.

We conducted a large survey among authors of papers published in the top-20 journals in communication science in the last ten years (N=1039). A non-trivial percent of researchers report using one or more QRPs. While QRPs are generally considered unacceptable, researchers perceive QRPs to be common among their colleagues.

At the same time, we find optimism about the use of open science practices in communication research. We end with a series of recommendations outlining what journals, institutions and researchers can do moving forward.