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.

Posted in Open Science, Replication

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