Journals can increase transparency and reproducibility of research by adopting the TOP Guidelines. TOP includes eight modular standards that can be implemented in whole or in part. Each standard has three levels of increasing expectation for transparency. These features provide flexibility for adoption depending on disciplinary variation, but simultaneously establish community standards.
Life Science Journals: Use the MDAR Framework for Improving Methods Clarity
The Materials, Design, Analysis Reporting Framework provides recommended, minimal standards for journals to provide specific guidance for authors to point to specific items in their work. See the checklist here and read more about the past, present, and future of this framework here.
Signal open practices with badges
Journals can signal their valuing of open practices by adopting badges to acknowledge authors of articles that have open data, open materials, or preregistration. A COS Community maintains the badge specifications and facilitates integration of badge awarding into the journal workflow. Badges are a low risk nudge because adoption by authors is optional, and the simple signal can promote normative changes in practice.
Adopt Registered Reports
Registered Reports (RR) involve peer review of study designs and analysis plans prior to data collection. Reviewers evaluate the importance of the research question and quality of the design. Accepted proposals are published if they adhere to the proposal regardless of the outcome. RRs address challenges of publishing of negative results, lowers barrier to conducting worthwhile replications, obtains pre-commitment from reviewers on quality of design, and produces strong confirmatory tests.
A COS Community maintains an information commons about RRs, promotes adoption, and evaluates publishing model. COS also offers registration services through OSF. Journals can adopt Registered Reports as a submission option. See examples of this model in action at Social Psychology, eLife, and Perspectives on Psychological Science.