PLOS ONE and COS Call for Transparent Studies in Cognitive Psychology

Aug. 31, 2020

The Center for Open Science announces a collaboration with PLOS ONE to gather papers in cognitive psychology that highlight open practices.

Charlottesville, VA — The Center for Open Science (COS) urges researchers to respond to PLOS ONE’s broad call for submissions of open and transparent studies from cognitive developmental psychology subdisciplines by November 30, 2020. 

Statistical challenges embedded across psychology studies often limit the degree of the reproducibility of outcomes. Population and participation responsiveness fluctuate over time. Factors such as low power, high variability across data sets, and other challenges weaken confidence in reported results.

Psychology and cognitive science have seen an uptick in demand for transparent reporting and rigorous methods. Open data, open code, and preregistration are needed to improve rigor among the psychological sciences, including cognitive developmental psychology.

Submissions are invited from researchers working in early cognitive development, language development, atypical development, cognitive processing across the lifespan, and additional fields. Submissions may include confirmatory and exploratory research and clinical trials or observational studies.

Submitting authors are encouraged to store their supplemental data, materials, code, or preprints in an OSF project. Learn how to get started with OSF here.

Manuscripts may be submitted as a preprint to PsyArXivPsyArXiv logo

Authors may also submit to this call for papers using the Registered Report format and protocols. Those accepted for publication will receive a fee waiver for the publication presenting the completed study.

“Developmental psychology has been slower to embrace the movement towards more research transparency that has been seen in other fields of psychology in recent years. To improve the replicability of our science, it is vital as a field that we adopt more transparent research practices such as preregistration and the sharing of materials, data, code, and preprints. We hope this collection will help highlight the benefits of such methodological reform in the study of lifespan development,” said Ben Brown, collection guest editor and Associate Professor of Psychology at Georgia Gwinnett College.

“We are particularly excited to promote publishing formats such as Registered Reports that push for clearer planning and transparency in the formulation of research questions and methodology while allowing for some flexibility. Just tell us what you do, why and how, in detail, regardless of your findings’ impact, even if you only obtain null results, whether or not your research fits established disciplinary boundaries," said Yann Benetreau, PhD, Senior Editor at PLOS ONE.

“Increasing trust in scientific research requires doing all that we can to ensure that findings are transparently reported with a little bias as possible,” said David Mellor, PhD, Director of Policy Initiatives at the Center for Open Science. “And the practices emphasized in this call, such as access to underlying data, analysis plans, or the assurance that results will be published regardless of outcome are antidotes to the root causes of shaky findings.”

Please view the official PLOS ONE call for papers to review scope, topics, and further submission criteria.


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