Feature

A recipe for rigor

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Science  21 Sep 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6408, pp. 1192-1193
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6408.1192

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Summary

When a series of scandals hit the field of psychology in 2011 and eroded trust in a lot of research results, some scientists proposed a radical solution: preregistration, or describing the research they plan to do, and how, before they gather a single piece of data. Researchers hope this will lead to more negative results being published. But most importantly, it limits what scientists can do with their data, making practices like p-hacking or HARKing, which can lead to results that only seem to be significant, less likely. The practice has taken off since then, with the number of preregistrations doubling every year. Metaresearchers are now trying to suss out what positive or negative effects the new approach has. But that is proving difficult.