Psychology journal editor asked to resign for refusing to review papers unless he can see the data


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/02/psychology-journal-editor-aske.html


#2

Psychology, you run the constant risk of your perfect analysis being derailed by not knowing that an incident in third grade instilled your subject with a subconscious urge to lie to anyone wearing corduroy.

Hence, the saying “it’s not an exact science”…


#3

How do you do ‘science’ like this and still look yourself in the mirror every morning?

I knew that the APA was keepin’ it classy RE: torture and such; but this is “eye of newt and Just So Stories” level bullshit.


#4

I mean, yeah, human sciences Are Different ™, but this is still kind of boneheaded.


#5

Science holds published research to high standards and uses peer review to provide quality control…Peer review is irksome for authors, but it’s central to psychology’s scientific mission.

–from How To Write A Lot by Paul J. Silvia, Ph.D

Providing the data could be very helpful with the peer review process. As Silvia says the quality of the conclusions is important. In another part of his book he mentions going through old journals. If researchers assume their articles are going to be archived and cited for a very long time–and in fact that’s what they hope for-- they should want their conclusions to be put under intense scrutiny.

And tangentially I’d say that more openness could prevent embarrassments like the one Elsevier had to deal with when it was revealed the editor of Social Science Research skipped the regular peer review process to rush to publish an article where the data did not back up the conclusions.


#6

You can’t review anything without seeing data, no matter what filed you are in. If that’s the new norm, my job just got easier, “Hey big contractor, don’t worry about showing me your general ledger, we will just take for granted what you say is in your books, and write you a check, okay?”


#7

“Ah, right, not willing to share your data…”
(leans back in chair) “Would you like to talk about that?”


#8

The Replication Crisis: It’s not just a problem on the Enterprise.


#9

The article doesn’t touch on this, and this particular instance seems absolutely silly, but I do wonder about the ethical issues of sharing data that might have been acquired using informed consent or with expectations of privacy. Obviously there are ways around this–otherwise the data couldn’t be published at all–but the question of what “data” is, and what is being requested is pertinent here.

And yeah, raw data is necessary to do a thorough peer review.


#10

“… not exactly a science…” :slight_smile:


#11

I’m sure that some researchers have screwed this up; but it strikes me that, if you can get consent to use the data to write the paper, getting consent for one of your suitably qualified colleagues to review the data while evaluating the paper wouldn’t be particularly burdensome.

Given the exciting world of de-anonymization attacks, I can understand not wanting your data, as naively ‘anonymized’ by someone who went into an area of science for people who are afraid of math, just showing up for download; but that’s not an excuse for not letting the reviewer see it.


#12

JFC. C’mon, scientists, get some help with this if you need it!


#13

If there’s no data, it’s not a Scientific Journal. A Literary Journal perhaps.


#14

“…surveyed 600 researchers in the field to understand barriers to data sharing. The main explanations that they gave were:
[1] data sharing is an uncommon practice in the field;
[2] researchers prefer to share data only on request;
[3] it is time consuming; and
[4] researchers have never learned how to share data properly.”

Does anyone here find any of the listed reasons truly valid “barriers to data sharing”, that is, with respect to EFFECTIVE review of research papers? Should reviewers just accept what they get and slap on the ‘okay’ as if it’s all just some old boy’s network?


#15

Cue the slow, ominous chair creak as you lean back.

:wink:


#16

Wagenmakers’ survey results have not yet been published.

The irony.


#17

My data? It’s the best data in the world! Huge data. Believe me! It’s fantastic!


#18

This article is like waterboarding the APA’s sterling reputation.


#19

What do the “hard” (aka “real”) sciences do?


#20

The consents related to human subjects research is different for the human sciences, but especially in qualitative or mixed methods on sensitive topics like suicide, drug use, immigration, etc. However, that is not the APA’s issue, as they frown upon qualitative research. The APA’s entire approach has been to put on the costume of the medical and physical sciences without applying the rigorous ethics of those fields to research. It’s an authoritarian group that wants a monopoly on psychology and neuroscience, but is not really equipped for either. Neuroscience is owned by medicine and psychology is slipping through their fingers (see the APA lobbying push for the only path to licensure to be through them). This is just another example of their garbage policies come home to roost.