History has thought us that peer reviewing was a great idea. And indeed it had been, science had never been bigger than today. However, recent reflections on the peer reviewing system expose some major flaws in the system. Publication and confirmation bias are some of the biases that influence a paper being published. The revolution of printed press accelerated the growth of science. The new revolution is upon us, the internet. I propose that journals should adopt a new format which is completely digital. This new system dictates that new findings(papers) are put on an online discussion board for all to see and comment on. For free. In this way everybody can comment on the process and the writers can defend themselves and perhaps improve on the results, methods or can further examine any possible confounds. In this way science is open as it should be, and more people can influence the field of science and learn from the openly available body of knowledge.
The fraudulent behavior of scientists that has been exposed over the recent years (Stapel, Bax, Förster) would easily lead to the conclusion that science is in crisis. Scientist seem to be able to make up data and get away with it for an considerable time. I believe the crisis is not as big as it may seem.
1: First of all, me writing on this blog and you reading it is the first step. We chose this course because we believe that it is important to take note from the past. Which factors have led to the fraud cases and what can we do to prevent them from happening again? The answers are all over this blog and the papers we have read so far. It all begins with the youngsters, and we now know what can go wrong and what the weaknesses of modern science can be. The new generation will be more educated.
2: Nature does not accept research without being able to see the raw data used for the research article (http://www.nature.com/news/announcement-reducing-our-irreproducibility-1.12852). One of the leading scientific journals has changed a major policy in favor of transparency and openness of research data. This also means that everybody can take this data and do the analysis ourselves, we can see what happened and how robust the findings are.
3: One of the problems of Psychology are the low levels of replication of found phenomena. Replication research wasn’t very popular for quite some time. However, last year the APS has initiated policy which is set out to make replication a more intricate part of its journal (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/initiative-on-research-replication.html). Good news! Replications are a valid endeavor!
I conclude from this that although there might have been a crisis, it did not go to waste (Rahm’s Rule). We are learning and things are changing.
Last but not least: Prof. Dr. Borsboom and Prof. Dr. van der Maas say that it’s going in the right direction.