An academic scientist’s professional success depends on publishing. Publishing norms emphasize novel, positive, tidy results. As such, disciplinary incentives encourage design, analysis, and reporting decisions that maximize publishability even at the expense of accuracy. This challenges scientists' character because professional success is enhanced by pursuing suboptimal scientific practices. As such, disciplinary norms guide researchers toward practices that are contrary to personal and scientific values. The end result is inflation of error in published science, and interference with knowledge accumulation. Scientific integrity can be improved with strategies that make the fundamental but abstract accuracy motive—getting it right—competitive with the more tangible and concrete incentive—getting it published.
We are building infrastructure (http://openscienceframework.org/) to alter the incentives, increase openness and accountability, and provide a means of instilling habits that embody scientific values in the daily behavior of practicing scientists. Also, we are building communities around open science values, and means of providing credit for practicing those values. Ultimately, we aim to enhance the credibility and integrity of individual scientists, the scientific community, and the knowledge base that they produce.
We will meet these goals in this grant with three activities: (1) building the Open Science Framework to provide features that provide value to the scientist's existing workflow and enables or automates good practices, (2) building community, training and outreach to facilitate use of the Open Science Framework, and (3) connecting a variety of tools (e.g., data repositories, data visualization tools, analytic tools) through the OSF to support the entire research lifecycle and facilitate documentation and archival of research materials and data.