Open Science Practices and Registered Reports
The Open Science of Religion (OSR) project aims to accelerate the use of Open Science Practices and Registered Reports in the psychology of religion/spirituality field. Open Science Practices are “practices that promote openness, integrity, and reproducibility in research” (Banks et al., 2019, p. 257), including openly sharing data/materials and preregistering study hypotheses and analytic plans. Registered reports are a publishing format in which “[studies] are thoroughly reviewed and revised [by expert peers] before researchers collect data.... [and] then offered in-principle acceptance, in which the journal agrees to publish the results regardless of [the research outcomes]” (Chambers et al., 2015, p. A1). This outcome is fully dependent on the author closely adhering to the agreed-upon plan and providing an acceptably crafted report.
Across scientific disciplines, Open Science Practices and Registered Reports are becoming increasingly common. This advancement is helping enhance research quality and curb questionable research practices such as p-hacking (e.g., exploring different analytic alternatives until something yields statistical significance; Simmons et al., 2011) and HARKing (hypothesizing after the results are known; Kerr, 1998). Registered Reports also help reduce the selective reporting of variables and results, including the file drawer problem (suppression of nonsignificant results; O’Boyle et al., 2017).
However, Open Science Practices and Registered Reports are currently underutilized in the psychology of religion/spirituality field. The Open Science of Religion initiative seeks to redress this need.