Rigor and Transparency Initiatives

The Center for Open Science (COS) is available to provide support for funder efforts to improve research rigor and transparency.


COS has substantial expertise in the design, administration, and evaluations of Rigor and Transparency Initiatives (RTIs) that raise awareness, shift incentives, and initiate culture and behavior change to accelerate discovery of knowledge, solutions, and cures.

COS collaborates with funders and journal partners to support discrete publishing and funding opportunities for research communities to demonstrate behaviors of high rigor and transparency and stimulate change in norms, incentives, and behavior. These RTIs serve as proof-of-concept for the disciplinary community that the new behaviors are possible, achievable, and effective for research in their domain.


Examples of RTIs

Journals and funders work together to support and disseminate rigorous, transparent research.


Flu Lab and PLoS

Began in 2019, “Opening Influenza Research” has accepted 7 studies so far. The studies include small awards of $5,000 for publishing the results of already completed replication studies or existing datasets, and larger awards of up to $25,000 for studies that propose conducting additional direct replications. These studies cover all aspects of influenza research, including immunology, genetics, analysis of existing datasets, and factors that affect vaccination rates.


2014 Special Issue of Social Psychology

For a special issue titled “Replications of Important Results in Social Psychology,” authors submitted proposals to the journal that included (1) an introduction justifying the importance of the original study and a replication, (2) a proposed methodology and analysis plan, and (3) a budget for conducting the research.  Successful proposals were granted in-principle acceptance at the journal and received small awards (~$2K each) from COS through a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Ultimately, 15 Registered Report articles were published. And, all articles met the requirements for the special issue to share data, materials, and code.

Funding Consciousness Studies

With support from the Templeton World Charity Foundation, and in collaboration with the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, COS is administering an initiative to promote the use of Registered Reports in consciousness research by funding $1.125 million for researchers who use the Registered Reports model at participating journals. 

How We Partner with Funders

COS can provide guidance and support for the entire project, or for various components, including the following:

Program Design

Create a program designed to:

  • Incentivize rigor and transparency
  • Demonstrate best practices
  • Maximize community engagement or impact
  • Promote behavior and culture change

Program Administration

  • Facilitate relationships with partner journals
  • Manage researcher inquiries and provide support for developing proposals
  • Assess pre-proposals for meeting qualification criteria for the program
  • Advise or train participating researchers on best practices and meeting program objectives
  • Administer grant awards to qualifying researchers
  • Manage reporting requirements for awards

Research and Data Software Tools

  • Provide regular reports on program administration, outreach effectiveness, and program outcomes
  • Conduct evaluation of the program with participating researchers and other stakeholders
  • Assess impact in the research community

These programs can be conducted with high efficiency providing excellent return on investment. Contact COS today to explore how we can assist you in promoting improvements in research rigor and transparency.


David Mellor, Director of Policy