Making a List, Checking it Twice (for Transparency)

[Excerpts taken from the article “A consensus-based transparency checklist” by Balazs Aczel and many, many others, published in Nature Human Behavior]
“Ideally, science is characterized by a ‘show me’ norm, meaning that claims should be based on observations that are reported transparently…”
“How can scientists increase the transparency of their work?”
“We provide a consensus-based, comprehensive transparency checklist that behavioural and social science researchers can use to improve and document the transparency of their research…”
“Responses to the checklist items can be submitted along with a manuscript, providing reviewers, editors and, eventually, readers with critical information about the research process necessary to evaluate the robustness of a finding.”
“The initial set of items was evaluated by 45 behavioural and social science journal editors-in-chief and associate editors, as well as 18 open-science advocates.”
“The Transparency Checklist was iteratively modified by deleting, adding and rewording the items until a sufficiently high level of acceptability and consensus were reached and no strong counter arguments for single items were made…”
“The final version of the Transparency Checklist 1.0 contains 36 items that cover four components of a study: preregistration; methods; results and discussion; and data, code and materials availability. For each item, authors select the appropriate answer from prespecified options.”
“It is important to emphasize that none of the responses on the checklist is a priori good or bad and that the transparency report provides researchers the opportunity to explain their choices at the end of each section.”
“In addition to the full checklist, we provide a shortened 12-item version (Fig. 1). By reducing the demands on researchers’ time to a minimum, the shortened list may facilitate broader adoption, especially among journals that intend to promote transparency but are reluctant to ask authors to complete a 36-item list.”
“We created online applications for the two checklists that allow users to complete the form and generate a report that they can submit with their manuscript and/or post to a public repository…”
“The checklist is subject to continual improvement, and we encourage researchers, funding agencies and journals to provide feedback and recommendations.”
To read the article, click here.

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