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. 2016 May 12;14(5):e1002456.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002456. eCollection 2016 May.

Badges to Acknowledge Open Practices: A Simple, Low-Cost, Effective Method for Increasing Transparency

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Free PMC article

Badges to Acknowledge Open Practices: A Simple, Low-Cost, Effective Method for Increasing Transparency

Mallory C Kidwell et al. PLoS Biol. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Beginning January 2014, Psychological Science gave authors the opportunity to signal open data and materials if they qualified for badges that accompanied published articles. Before badges, less than 3% of Psychological Science articles reported open data. After badges, 23% reported open data, with an accelerating trend; 39% reported open data in the first half of 2015, an increase of more than an order of magnitude from baseline. There was no change over time in the low rates of data sharing among comparison journals. Moreover, reporting openness does not guarantee openness. When badges were earned, reportedly available data were more likely to be actually available, correct, usable, and complete than when badges were not earned. Open materials also increased to a weaker degree, and there was more variability among comparison journals. Badges are simple, effective signals to promote open practices and improve preservation of data and materials by using independent repositories.

Conflict of interest statement

Brian Nosek created the badges to acknowledge open practices, and Brian Nosek and Mallory Kidwell are on a committee maintaining the badges. The badges and specifications for earning them are CC0 licensed with no monetization. None of the authors have had administrative or editorial roles for the journals included in the study.

Figures

Fig 1
Fig 1. Article coding scheme.
A visual illustration of the full coding scheme used to evaluate the availability of data and materials. This figure is available for download on the Open Science Framework at https://osf.io/kjsxv/.
Fig 2
Fig 2. Reportedly available data.
Percentage of articles reporting open data by half year by journal. Darker line indicates Psychological Science, and dotted red line indicates when badges were introduced in Psychological Science and none of the comparison journals. Underlying data (https://osf.io/a29bt/) and scripts (https://osf.io/bdtnq/) to reproduce this figure can be found on the Open Science Framework.
Fig 3
Fig 3. Reportedly available materials.
Percentage of articles reporting open materials by half year by journal. Darker line indicates Psychological Science, and dotted red line indicates when badges were introduced in Psychological Science and none of the comparison journals. Underlying data (https://osf.io/a29bt/) and scripts (https://osf.io/bdtnq/) to reproduce this figure are available on the Open Science Framework.
Fig 4
Fig 4. Actually available, correct, usable, and complete data.
Percentage of articles with data reported available at an independent archive or personal website that were actually available, had correct data, had usable data, and had complete data. Once Psychological Science started offering badges, some articles reported availability but either did not apply for or earn a badge; others reported availability and did earn a badge. These are represented separately. Total number of articles reported in data points. Underlying data (https://osf.io/srgjb/) and scripts (https://osf.io/d78cf/) to reproduce this figure are available on the Open Science Framework.
Fig 5
Fig 5. Actually available, correct, usable, and complete materials.
Percentage of articles with materials reported available at an independent archive or personal website that were actually available, had correct materials, had usable materials, and had complete materials. Once Psychological Science started offering badges, some articles reported availability but did not earn a badge, and others reported availability and did earn a badge. These are represented separately. Total number of articles reported in data points. Underlying data (https://osf.io/8ds2g/) and scripts (https://osf.io/f7kqr/) to reproduce this figure are available on the Open Science Framework.

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The authors received no specific funding for this work.
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