Playing with data

Or how to discourage questionable research practices and stimulate researchers to do things right

K. Sijtsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Recent fraud cases in psychological and medical research have emphasized the need to pay attention to Questionable Research Practices (QRPs). Deliberate or not, QRPs usually have a deteriorating effect on the quality and the credibility of research results. QRPs must be revealed but prevention of QRPs is more important than detection. I suggest two policy measures that I expect to be effective in improving the quality of psychological research. First, the research data and the research materials should be made publicly available so as to allow verification. Second, researchers should more readily consider consulting a methodologist or a statistician. These two measures are simple but run against common practice to keep data to oneself and overestimate one’s methodological and statistical skills, thus allowing secrecy and errors to enter research practice.
Keywords: data fraud, hiring a methodologist/statistician, public availability of data, questionable research practices
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
JournalPsychometrika
Volume81
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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Playing with data : Or how to discourage questionable research practices and stimulate researchers to do things right. / Sijtsma, K.

In: Psychometrika, Vol. 81, No. 1, 2016, p. 1-15.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AB - Recent fraud cases in psychological and medical research have emphasized the need to pay attention to Questionable Research Practices (QRPs). Deliberate or not, QRPs usually have a deteriorating effect on the quality and the credibility of research results. QRPs must be revealed but prevention of QRPs is more important than detection. I suggest two policy measures that I expect to be effective in improving the quality of psychological research. First, the research data and the research materials should be made publicly available so as to allow verification. Second, researchers should more readily consider consulting a methodologist or a statistician. These two measures are simple but run against common practice to keep data to oneself and overestimate one’s methodological and statistical skills, thus allowing secrecy and errors to enter research practice.Keywords: data fraud, hiring a methodologist/statistician, public availability of data, questionable research practices

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