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A consensus-based transparency checklist (Papers: Balazs Aczel, et al | December 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on December 11, 2019
 

We present a consensus-based checklist to improve and document the transparency of research reports in social and behavioural research. An accompanying online application allows users to complete the form and generate a report that they can submit with their manuscript or post to a public repository.

Good science requires transparency
Ideally, science is characterized by a ‘show me’ norm, meaning that claims should be based on observations that are reported transparently, honestly and completely1. When parts of the scientific process remain hidden, the trustworthiness of the associated conclusions is eroded. This erosion of trust affects the credibility not only of specific articles, but—when a lack of transparency is the norm—perhaps even entire disciplines. Transparency is required not only for evaluating and reproducing results (from the same data), but also for research synthesis and meta-analysis from the raw data and for effective replication and extension of that work. Particularly when the research is funded by public resources, transparency and openness constitute a societal obligation.

In recent years many social and behavioural scientists have expressed a lack of confidence in some past findings2, partly due to unsuccessful replications. Among the causes for this low replication rate are underspecified methods, analyses and reporting practices. These research practices can be difficult to detect and can easily produce unjustifiably optimistic research reports. Such lack of transparency need not be intentional or deliberately deceptive. Human reasoning is vulnerable to a host of pernicious and often subtle biases, such as hindsight bias, confirmation bias and motivated reasoning, all of which can drive researchers to unwittingly present a distorted picture of their results.

Aczel, B., Szaszi, B., Sarafoglou, A. et al. (2019) A consensus-based transparency checklist. Nature Human Behaviour doi:10.1038/s41562-019-0772-6
Publisher (Open Access): https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-019-0772-6

Also see
repliCATS project at University of Melbourne

Citizen scientists ‘deserve more credit’ – Cosmos (Nick Carne | December 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on December 9, 2019
 

Researchers say academic journals should recognise non-professional input and indigenous knowledge.

Academic journals should allow citizen scientists and indigenous knowledge to be formally recognised on papers, researchers have suggested.

Writing in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, a team led by Georgia Ward-Fear from Australia’s Macquarie University and Greg Pauly from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, US, argues that changes in technology mean non-professionals are taking greater roles in science work.

“Members of the general public have become pivotal contributors to research, resulting in thousands of scientific publications and measurable conservation impacts,” says Ward-Fear. “The question is: how should we credit that input?”

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Lycoming College’s “Plagiarism Game” receives a one-up through new coding – Norhcentral PA (NCPA Staff | November 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on December 8, 2019
 

“It is a quiet day at Lycoming… when suddenly the campus is taken over by Plagiarism goblins who want to destroy its academic integrity! You are the only person left who can destroy the goblins and restore order to the College!”

Games can be a great complement to exposition in workshops and a fun way for participants to apply what they have learned.  As an avid fantasy roleplayer at high school in the UK and at university in Australia, Gary got especially enthused about this game.

So begins “Goblin Threat,” also known throughout the Lycoming College campus as the Plagiarism Game. Created more than 10 years ago by Mary Broussard, professor and instructional services librarian and coordinator of reference and web services at Lycoming College’s Snowden Library, the game has steadily risen in popularity, receiving more than 200,000 page views in 2018, according to Google Analytics.
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The game revolves around the player traveling through Lycoming College and defeating “plagiarism goblins” by correctly answering questions about plagiarism. Broussard always had an interest in game-based learning, so she applied that interest toward making both an informative and entertaining game. “The point was to make it more enjoyable than a straightforward tutorial on plagiarism,” she said.
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Access the game – https://www.lycoming.edu/library/plagiarism-game/

We’re All ‘P-Hacking’ Now – Wired (Christie Aschwanden | November 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on December 7, 2019
 

An insiders’ term for scientific malpractice has worked its way into pop culture. Is that a good thing?

It’s got an entry in the Urban Dictionary, been discussed on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, scored a wink from Cards Against Humanity, and now it’s been featured in a clue on the TV game show Jeopardy. Metascience nerds rejoice! The term p-hacking has gone mainstream.

Results from a study can be analyzed in a variety of ways, and p-hacking refers to a practice where researchers select the analysis that yields a pleasing result. The p refers to the p-value, a ridiculously complicated statistical entity that’s essentially a measure of how surprising the results of a study would be if the effect you’re looking for wasn’t there.

Suppose you’re testing a pill for high blood pressure, and you find that blood pressures did indeed drop among people who took the medicine. The p-value is the probability that you’d find blood pressure reductions at least as big as the ones you measured, even if the drug was a dud and didn’t work. A p-value of 0.05 means there’s only a 5 percent chance of that scenario. By convention, a p-value of less than 0.05 gives the researcher license to say that the drug produced “statistically significant” reductions in blood pressure.

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