Transparency in conducting and reporting research: A survey of authors, reviewers, and editors across scholarly disciplines

Authors : Mario Malički, IJsbrand Jan Aalbersberg, Lex Bouter, Adrian Mulligan, Gerben ter Riet

Calls have been made for improving transparency in conducting and reporting research, improving work climates, and preventing detrimental research practices. To assess attitudes and practices regarding these topics, we sent a survey to authors, reviewers, and editors. We received 3,659 (4.9%) responses out of 74,749 delivered emails.

We found no significant differences between authors’, reviewers’, and editors’ attitudes towards transparency in conducting and reporting research, or towards their perceptions of work climates. Undeserved authorship was perceived by all groups as the most prevalent detrimental research practice, while fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, and not citing prior relevant research, were seen as more prevalent by editors than authors or reviewers.

Overall, 20% of respondents admitted sacrificing the quality of their publications for quantity, and 14% reported that funders interfered in their study design or reporting. While survey respondents came from 126 different countries, due to the survey’s overall low response rate our results might not necessarily be generalizable.

Nevertheless, results indicate that greater involvement of all stakeholders is needed to align actual practices with current recommendations.

URL : Transparency in conducting and reporting research: A survey of authors, reviewers, and editors across scholarly disciplines


Replication and trustworthiness

Authors : Rik Peels, Lex Bouter

This paper explores various relations that exist between replication and trustworthiness. After defining “trust”, “trustworthiness”, “replicability”, “replication study”, and “successful replication”, we consider, respectively, how trustworthiness relates to each of the three main kinds of replication: reproductions, direct replications, and conceptual replications.

Subsequently, we explore how trustworthiness relates to the intentionality of a replication. After that, we discuss whether the trustworthiness of research findings depends merely on evidential considerations or also on what is at stake.

We conclude by adding replication to the other issues that should be considered in assessing the trustworthiness of research findings: (1) the likelihood of the findings before the primary study was done (that is, the prior probability of the findings), (2) the study size and the methodological quality of the primary study, (3) the number of replications that were performed and the quality and consistency of their aggregated findings, and (4) what is at stake.

URL : Replication and trustworthiness