Scientific Utopia: Improving the Openness and Reproducibility of Research
An academic scientist’s professional success depends on publishing. Publishing norms emphasize novel, positive results. As such, disciplinary incentives encourage design, analysis, and reporting decisions that elicit positive results and ignore negative results. These incentives inflate the rate of false effects in published science. When incentives favor novelty over replication, false results persist in the literature unchallenged, reducing efficiency in knowledge accumulation. I will briefly review the evidence and challenges for reproducibility and then discuss some of the initiatives that aim to nudge incentives and create infrastructure that can improve reproducibility and accelerate scientific progress.
About Brian Nosek: Brian Nosek received a Ph.D. in from Yale University in 2002 and is a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia. He received early career awards from the International Social Cognition Network (ISCON) and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). He co-founded Project Implicit (http://projectimplicit.net/) an Internet-based multi-university collaboration of research and education about thoughts and feelings that exist outside of awareness or control. Nosek also co-founded and directs the Center for Open Science (COS; http://cos.io/) that aims to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of scientific research. COS is a non-profit, technology start-up with three primary activities: (1) building and maintaining the Open Science Framework (http://osf.io/) that supports the research workflow and enables transparency, archiving, and pre-registration; (2) building community and shifting incentives such as badges for articles to acknowledge open practices; and, (3) conducting metascience such as estimating the reproducibility of scientific research by conducting large-scale, crowdsourced replication projects.