It happens often. You are searching for the latest research on your topic of interest, you come across the perfect article to expand your knowledge of this topic but then – BAM! You hit the paywall. Access to scholarly articles is a huge issue for students. This is due to the simple fact that many institutions cannot afford the exorbitant prices of academic journals. It’s not only students that experience barriers to accessing the latest research though. Approximately 40% of researchers do not have access to the articles they need (Research Information Network, 2009). Continue reading
The past couple of years have been somewhat tumultuous for psychology. With the revelation of several high profile cases of fraud, the field has come under scrutiny, not least from psychologists themselves. Most notably, Simmons, Nelson and Simonsohn (2011) showed how the amount of possible decisions in the research process and flexibility researchers normally have can make finding significant findings increasingly likely (see their paper for recommendations to counteract this). It is likely that there are many cases of false positives (or Type 1 error) in the psychological literature (and other bodies of literature). Such errors in the literature, whether resulting from fraud or cultural norms in research practice, are difficult to remove due to the combination of the reluctance of journals to publish exact replications (see previous post on publication bias) and the reluctance of journals to publish null results (which exacerbates the file drawer effect). Thankfully, some initiatives have been established to counter this risk to the credibility of psychology in the form of systematic efforts at carrying out and publishing replications. However, negative attitudes towards replication remain. Many established researchers do not see any incentive in replication (Makel, Plucker & Hegarty, 2012). It is a waste of time that could be spent on their own projects and is perceived as more likely to cause frustration in their colleagues then be rewarded with a publication. This is where you, the students, can step in. Carrying out a replication is a great way for a student to hone his or her research skills, while providing a valuable service to psychology. Before exploring the role students could have in this issue, let’s examine exactly what replication is, the situation of replication in psychology currently, and the efforts that have been made to advocate for it.
As regular readers of the JEPS bulletin will know, EFPSA is a staunch supporter of the open access movement. The JEPS Bulletin has led the way in the organisation’s support of this most important issue for modern science and has provided regular informative digests of the latest developments for the open access movement and what these mean for the psychology students of Europe (and beyond!).
As someone who was introduced this issue through following updates of the bulletin, I was honoured to get the chance to be involved in EFPSA’s first steps into greater involvement in the open access movement. In July, Ivan Flis, the Editor-in-Chief of JEPS, and I travelled to Budapest to take part in the first annual Right to Research Coalition General Assembly. Before going into how this will impact the future of EFPSA, let’s recap on some R2RC history!