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Professor Daryl O’Connor (University of Leeds), also chair of the British Psychological Society’s Research Board, said since Brian Nosek’s 2015 paper – which revealed only 36 per cent of psychology studies replicated – psychology had seen some key changes that would be important for the whole of science.He pointed to the Center for Open Science and Open Science Framework set up by Nosek and colleagues.O’Connor said this division reminded him of Brexit, with people on both sides of the debate – those publishing critiques and those bearing the brunt of them – were all in their own personal echo chambers, not quite seeing the viewpoint of the other.He said that while there was a relatively small amount of bullying going on as part of this movement, when it does happen it can be hugely damaging to individuals.Fiske said she had wandered into the current crisis naively and after her own experience has turned her attention to how psychology researchers communicate with each other via methods blogs.In a turn of events she dubbed ‘Fiskegate’, Fiske was asked to write about the effects of new media on science and scientists.
Another of these questionable research practices is ‘forking paths’: similar to p-hacking, but rather than analysing data to get a significant result researchers might see an interesting effect in their data and analyse it post-hoc or later choose to ignore outliers in the data.Professor Andy Field (University of Sussex) posed the question of whether researchers should really analyse their own data – he answered quickly with a resounding no.Field said while some researchers engage in questionable research practices on purpose to inflate their effects, many simply ‘know not what they do’.They looked at 41 blogs, which averaged around one post per month.While we may expect these bloggers to be younger researchers they tend to be slightly more established; the bloggers were 71 per cent male, 92 per cent white, and 74 per cent mid- to late-career researchers with established citation counts.
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In her article, which was leaked before publication, she described ‘self-appointed data police’ giving out ferocious critiques, and colleagues leaving the field entirely because of ‘methodological terrorism’.