CLAIRE BOEING-REICHER: Crowdsourcing a Journal’s Replication Policy
As reported in a previous blog post, the Economics E-Journal has launched a new replication section. As part of this initiative, we have developed a set of guidelines for replication submissions.
These guidelines seek to strike a reasonable balance among the needs of replicating authors (a fair chance to publish replications), replicated authors (protection against poorly-done replication studies), and readers (who need to know in a timely manner whether or not economics research is robust).
These guidelines for replication submissions are described at the journal’s website. This blog consists of two parts. In the first part, we provide a summary of our current guidelines. In the second part, we ask readers for input.
PART I: Current Guidelines
The guidelines for a replication submission at Economics E-Journal are summarized as follows.
1) An assistant editor determines whether the submission is of sufficient merit to be sent through the refereeing process. If not, the paper is desk-rejected.
2) If a paper passes the first stage, it is sent on to a Co-Editor, who makes a similar determination about merit. If the paper is not of sufficient merit, the paper is desk-rejected.
3) Then, the replication is sent to the original author, who has a chance to reply within 60 days. This reply is then appended to the submission.
4) If the paper passes this stage, the paper (with reply) is published as a discussion paper (which is like a working paper).
5) It is then sent on to two or three anonymous referees, none of whom is the original author. These referees submit reports which are posted online. Commenters can also comment during this time.
6) After the referee reports are posted, the author may reply to the referees or even update the paper.
7) After the author replies, a committee of three then makes a decision (generally to publish as a full-fledged journal article with or without specific revisions, or to reject). Any further exchanges between the replicating and original authors are then appended to the published article.
Our complete guidelines for replicators can be found here. While the guidelines are mostly set, we are still seeking input into our procedures, and we will undoubtedly make changes as we gain more experience with replications.
PART II: How You Can Help
We are seeking input on the following items:
– In light of the guidelines for non-replication submissions, do you believe that the current guidelines for replication submissions are appropriate?
– If not, what concrete suggestions do you have for improvement?
– Do you believe that the 60-day embargo on the discussion paper (to wait for the original author’s reply) makes sense, or should the discussion paper be published as soon as a Co-Editor believes it has sufficient merit?
– Should an embargo be placed instead on publication of the journal article? That is, should publication as a journal article wait until the original author has a chance to reply to the final version of the replication study?
In addition, we are keen to hear any other ideas you have for improving the replication policy at Economics E-Journal.
To provide feedback, comment directly on this blog page, or email Claire Boeing-Reicher (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), at Claire.Reicher@ifw-kiel.de .
We look forward to hearing from you.