University Library seminar on Publishing and Integrity encourages reflection

Last modified: May 30, 2017

by Marjet Elemans

An enthusiastic crowd of researchers attended the seminar ‘Publishing and Integrity’ on Tuesday 24 May 2016. The scope of the meeting was the question “Is openness the answer?”.

After a sketch of the topic by chairman Prof. Dr. Gjalt de Graaf the first speaker, Dr. Marjan Bakker, talked about the replication crisis in psychology (and other fields). She showed examples of p-hacking and discussed the surprising fraction of confirmed hypotheses and pleads for preregistration of hypothesis, study-design and analysis plan to minimize the researcher’s degrees of freedom.

Dr. Jelte Wicherts started his talk about the peer review process by listing different types of reviews: from excellent via sloppy, impolite, nepotistic and faked to no review at all. A popular solution among researchers is to reduce transparency by making the process double blind. Jelte’s research shows that transparency improves the quality of the review. His lecture was followed by an interesting debate whether reviewers would be more or less honest when their name is shown.

Prof. dr. Jacintha Ellers discussed the Open Access publication process. She showed the vast profits publishers make and the exponential increase in Open Access publications. She gave insight in how mega-journals like PlosOne and Scientific Reports (and, due to overrepresentation in these journals, the developing world) financially support flagship-journals of the same publisher. She argues for stringent scientific and fair criteria for Open Access publishing.

In answer to the question “Is openness the answer” chairman Gjalt de Graaf concludes that openness might not be the answer but is at least very important.

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