A battle in science has been brewing for a long while now and it involves the lack of availability of data being shared so that results can be confirmed or disproven via peer review. Now anyone who remembers anything from their grade school Elementary Science class knows that one of the hallmarks of science is the sharing of data with ones peer so they can replicate the experiment and either prove the conclusions or not. But, in our modern world of JUNK SCIENCE that has NOT been the case much of the time! Instead we have many researchers who are “protective” of their data and who outright refuse to share their data for peer review! The result of this LACK of peer review has been the leveling of allegations of fraud and sloppy methods and I might add JUSTLY SO! I mean, after all, IF your data proves or disproves something scientific then WHY wouldn’t you want your peers to replicate your results and add credence to your conclusions?
Now comes news of the first big battle in all this and it involves the American Psychological Association and one of its journals. The editor of that journal is being asked to resign. The reason? The editor said he will ONLY publish scientific studies in psychology IF he can see (review) the data. And, in today’s world of JUNK SCIENCE that is taboo!!! How dare he want to see the data! How dare he wish to replicate it! How dare he be a REAL SCIENTIST!! :O
Gert Storms is the editor in question and he is deviant and says he will NOT resign and I don’t blame him one bit. Gert is one of a few hundred scientists who have vowed that starting this year 2017 he will REJECT papers if the authors/researchers refuse to publicly share their data or explain why they can’t. In other words, Gert and other scientists are demanding TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY and the science research world of today apparently doesn’t like it! Unbelievable!!
Gert and others are part of what is being called the “Peer Reviewers’ Openness Initiative” which was launched this year by psychologists and researchers demanding more transparency in psychological research that is, frankly, now plagued with reports of FRAUD and shabby research practices.
Ironically, as much as the APA likes to pride itself on being a “scientific leader” in the field of psychological research the APA does NOT require data be made available for peer reviewers or shared openly online! I personally find that a bit strange, frankly. Why wouldn’t the APA which to VALIDATE or INVALIDATE research it is reporting on???? At a board meeting later this month the APA says it will reconsider this policy as indeed they should and I HIGHLY recommend they start requiring researchers to submit data for peer review AND share the data OPENLY ONLINE for all to see! People have a right to know and to review the data for themselves!!
Storm’s is the APA edition for the journal called “Journal of Experimental Psychology, Learning, Memory, and Cognition.” Storms accepted an invitation last years from the APA to peer review a study for this journal and let the APA know about his open data sharing policy. Apparently the APA didn’t like that. The Chief Editor of the Journal Robert Greene wrote to Storm that such a policy “set a terrible precedent” as it was unfair to the author of the research paper and was in opposition to the APA’s policies and guidelines! Say what??? Unfair to the author? Against the APA guidelines? WHY would the APA not want these papers fully peer reviewed prior to publishing them???? Greene went further, however, and suggested to Storm that he resign from the editorial board! OUTRAGEOUS!!
As I said, Storm refused to resign telling Greene he’d do whatever it takes to “prevent sloppy science” and he sent this communication out to other editors connected with the journal. They have called the APA position “quite inappropriate.” AND IT IS!
The APA current policy is that authors share their data AFTER publication but a 2006 study showed an astounding 73% of research psychologists are UNWILLING or “unable” to share their data after publication EVEN THOUGHT THEY’D AGREED TO DO SO PRIOR TO PUBLICATION!!! This is getting rather comical don’t you think?
What Storm and others are asking for is ACCOUNTABILITY but the researchers seem to NOT want to be held accountable and THAT is likely due to POOR scientific methods used or outright FABRICATING OF RESULTS!
Back in August of 2015 the largest replication study to date cast DOUBT on MANY published positive results when it comes to psychology studies! The report on this study in “Nature” opens with this line:
“Don’t trust everything you read in the psychology literature. In fact, two-thirds of it should probably be DISTRUSTED.”
These opening lines speak volumes in my opinion because they speak TRUTH! And this problems does not just infect the field of psychology but ALL OTHER SCIENCE RESEARCH FIELDS TODAY!!
This lack of transparency and accountability in science has been going on for a long while now and, needless to say, is VERY DISTURBING. We seem to have, as a result, a lot of JUNK SCIENCE today and, sorry, but junk science is NOT SCIENCE in my opinion!! We also seem to have some element of research fraud going on in which the data is manipulated to fit the researchers pet hypothesis or funding source! I support Storm 100% and what he’s doing by resisting the APA policy needs to be done by all other REAL SCIENTISTS like Storm in ALL OTHER FIELDS TOO! It’s time to stop the CRAP SCIENCE and get BACK TO real science research!