One of the most exciting developments in Open Science is the crowd-sourcing of large-scale replication projects of important findings. These large-scale efforts gather enough data to make very precise estimates of effect size, and can also examine if factors across labs, such as culture or location, might moderate the effect. Cool!
There are a number of initiatives to help make large-scale replications happen. One key sponsor is the Association for Psychological Science (APS), which organizes what are known as Registered Replication Reports. A cool feature of this APS initiative is that it uses a pre-registration review process: the paper and protocol is reviewed prior to data collection, and then is published regardless of the result.
I (Bob) am excited to have made my first small contribution to an RRP. Specifically, I worked with Kelsie Chasten, a student at my university, and Tracy Caldwell, a fellow faculty member to collect 100+ participants for an RRP project to help test the famous Facial Feedback Hypothesis. It was an incredible experience. The RRP organizers had an extremely detailed protocol, which made getting up and running with data collection very straightforward. Once we obtained our results, we put them in a standardized format and sent them on to the RRP organizers…and began the anxious wait to find out if our results were representative of the whole. The organizing authors used pre-written scripts to analyze the data as a whole. They then wrote a short results and discussion section to accompany an intro and methods which had been written prior to analysis to ensure an unbiased tone. The manuscript is now in pre-publication release, with me, Kelsie, and Tracy within the very long chain of authors. What I found most satisfying is being part of a project where we could be certain that our efforts would go towards a meaningful contribution in our science. This feels like the future.
Anyway, now that the RRP is in pre-publication, there are some great articles coming out about it. You’ll have to read one or the paper itself (it is short) to find out the result.