UQ leads the way in Open Science

30 Aug 2018

The University of QueenslandA global scientific leaderboard has ranked researchers at The University of Queensland number one in the Open Science movement.

Open Science is a new approach to research based on transparency and accessibility that promotes sharing data and tools.

One of its key elements is preregistration of experiments, where researchers submit details of their study methods before they begin work.

UQ is top of the Open Science Framework’s Preregistration Leaderboard of 528 international universities, which includes Oxford, Stanford and Harvard.

UQ School of Psychology’s Associate Professor Jason Tangen said Open Science and preregistration emerged due to a problem which came to light in 2015.

“There has been a replication crisis across a number of fields in science where researchers can’t seem to mirror the results of original experiments,” Dr Tangen said.

“The best solution to this crisis is preregistration; documenting the design and hypotheses of the study, and then publishing the results and all the data, which will improve the quality of research and allow other scientists to replicate experiments.

“Many academics in the UQ School of Psychology have been doing this for years as common practice, and our efforts are beginning to show.”

Dr Tangen’s colleague, Dr Eric Vanman, has been instrumental in incorporating Open Science in the statistics and methodology classes he teaches at UQ.

“I’ve been teaching first year psychology students about this, and some of my colleagues in second, third and fourth year are starting to do this too,” Dr Vanman said.

“It’s quite clear that students who are getting their degrees today will definitely have to know about Open Science methods in the next five years.

“We’re trying to teaching them before they complete their studies.”

Dr Vanman’s passion for Open Science and improving research methodology led to the creation of the 2018 Australasian Open Science Conference.

“More than 100 people have registered, representing five different countries and 14 universities in Australia and New Zealand.

“They will be going to workshops, hackathons, and presentations about Open Science methods and developments in psychology and related fields, such as pre-registration, using R for analysis, open source experimental programming, promoting diversity, and more.”

The Australasian Open Science Conference will be held at UQ’s St Lucia campus, 24-25 September 2018.

Media: Dr Eric Vanman, e.vanman@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 6213, @socialneuro; Dr Jason Tangen, jtangen@psy.uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 6774, @tangenjm; Dani Nash, UQ Communications, dani.nash@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3346 3035, @UQhealth.

If you would like to support ongoing research in this area, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the UQ School of Psychology.

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