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Must replication attempts be battlegrounds?

Must replication attempts be battlegrounds?

Hobson, Hannah (2018) Must replication attempts be battlegrounds? Cortex, 113. pp. 355-356. ISSN 0010-9452 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2018.11.035)

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Abstract

Publishing failed replications can be like throwing down the academic gauntlet: we enter into a combative narrative, where either the original study’s finding was “false” or “unreliable”, or the replicators did a poor job, having missed a crucial methodological detail, sampled their participants differently, or so on. This combative approach towards replications is evident in the article by Huber, Potter, and Huszar (2018), who argue that reviewers of a replication must necessarily be different from the original authors of a study. One can appreciate that having an original study author amongst the reviewers may lead to hostile reviews that halt publication, if the replication has not produced the desired result. Of course, this problem does not just apply to replications, but to all studies that pose a threat to a researcher’s pet-theory, or a shining publication. As scientists, we are supposed to take an objective approach to data, not allowing biases or vested interests in particular theories or papers to cloud our judgement. It follows that discussion about conflicting findings should be constructive, not destructive. Blocking the publication of a “failed” replication of one’s own work is obviously not aiding scientific progress, but I am not convinced that banning original authors from the chance to review, comment on, or contribute to replication attempts is constructive either.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Replication; Collaboration; Research Culture; Registered Reports
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2019 13:26
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/22147

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