Charlottesville, VA — The American Psychological Association (APA), the nation's largest organization representing psychologists and psychological researchers has become a signatory to the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines, an important step for helping to make research data and processes more open by default, according to the Center for Open Science (COS).
The TOP Guidelines are a community-driven effort to align research behaviors with scientific ideals. Transparency, open sharing, and reproducibility are core values of science, but not always part of daily practice. Journals, funders, and institutions can increase reproducibility and integrity of research by aligning their author or grantee guidelines with the TOP Guidelines.
The APA said it will officially begin implementing standardized disclosure requirements of data and underlying research materials (TOP Level 1). Furthermore, it encourages editors of core journals to move to Level 2 TOP (required transparency of data and research items when ethically possible). More information on the specific levels of adoption by each of the core journals will be coming in the first half of 2021.
“This is a significant advance in transparency and integrity for psychological science," said Rose Sokol-Chang, publisher of APA’s journal and books. “These guidelines will provide a consistent framework for APA’s journals and assist authors and editors in the implementation of open science practices. The TOP Guidelines provide specific recommendations and steps for journals, publishers, societies, and funders to take to increase clarity in reporting scientific results. APA’s endorsement of TOP will help encourage the use of these practices among the research community.”
Published in 2015, the TOP Guidelines are designed to help lower barriers toward improving science, while still making concrete steps toward transparency.
“TOP was created to help deal with real barriers to culture change and policy improvement,” says David Mellor, Director of Policy Initiatives at COS. “It starts with common sense disclosure requirements to make it easy for authors, editors, and readers to see what evidence is available underlying empirical research claims. It builds on those standards by providing a roadmap for more transparency, verification, and replications so that these practices can be taken up by a growing group of researchers.”
The American Psychological Association (APA) is the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, with more than 118,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants, and students as its members. APA Publishing is the world’s largest nonprofit publisher of psychological science, setting standards for scholarship in the field through journals, books, videos, databases, and educational products.
About Center for Open Science
The Center for Open Science (COS) is a non-profit technology and culture change organization founded in 2013 with a mission to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of scientific research. COS pursues this mission by building communities around open science practices, supporting metascience research, and developing and maintaining free, open source software tools. The OSF is a web application that provides a solution for the challenges facing researchers who want to pursue open science practices, including: a streamlined ability to manage their work; collaborate with others; discover and be discovered; preregister their studies; and make their code, materials, and data openly accessible. Learn more at cos.io and osf.io.
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