An Agenda for Open Science in Communication

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In the last 10 years, many canonical findings in the social sciences appear unreliable. This so-called “replication crisis” has spurred calls for open science practices, which aim to increase the reproducibility, replicability, and generalizability of findings. Communication research is subject to many of the same challenges that have caused low replicability in other fields. In an article recently published in the Journal of Communication, 37 international authors (including Dr Douglas A. Parry) propose an An Agenda for Open Science in Communication, putting forward seven key suggestions:

  1. publish materials, data, and code;
  2. preregister studies and submit registered reports;
  3. conduct replications;
  4. collaborate;
  5. foster open science skills;
  6. implement Transparency and Openness Promotion Guidelines; and
  7. incentivize open science practices.

While the agenda focusses mostly on quantitative research, it also reflects on open science practices relevant to qualitative research, and concludess by discussing potential objections and concerns associated with open science practices. In this way, the agenda also serves as an invitation to deal constructively with the topic of “pen Science” and to determine its implications and potential for communication science.

In response, The Journal of Communication is devoting a special issue to the topic of Open Science, in which three open questions are to be addressed:

  • Empirical Assessment: Formal empirical assessment of the current problems that open science in communication seeks to address;
  • Challenges and Strategies: Potential downsides and challenges of adopting the open science policy and practices in communication research, and strategies and methods to address them;
  • Impacts on Humanities and Qualitative Research: A systematic understanding of how open science impacts those in the humanities and qualitative social sciences.

Link to article:

Special issue call: