Getting the whole story: journals could be more encouraging

Even though replication is a cornerstone of the scientific method, psychology journals rarely publish direct replications (though that situation may be changing).  Why not?  Is it self-censorship, with authors not bothering to conduct or submit such studies?  Or is it that the journals discourage replications?

Here’s a paper with some answers: Martin & Clark, 2017

The authors scanned the editorial guidelines of over 1000 psychology journals, flagging any mention of replication.  The found that only 3% explicitly encourage replication papers.  What about the other journals?  Two thirds didn’t mention replications at all, 33% seemed to implicitly discourage replications, and 1% explicitly discouraged replications. Yikes!

The times they are a changing, but there’s still a long way to go:


Martin, G. N., & Clarke, R. M. (2017). Are Psychology Journals Anti-replication? A Snapshot of Editorial Practices. Frontiers in Psychology, 8(April), 523.


I'm a teacher, researcher, and gadfly of neuroscience. My research interests are in the neural basis of learning and memory, the history of neuroscience, computational neuroscience, bibliometrics, and the philosophy of science. I teach courses in neuroscience, statistics, research methods, learning and memory, and happiness. In my spare time I'm usually tinkering with computers, writing programs, or playing ice hockey.

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