Transparency in conducting and reporting research: A survey of authors, reviewers, and editors across scholarly disciplines

Mario Malički, IJsbrand Jan Aalbersberg, Lex Bouter, Adrian Mulligan, Gerben ter Riet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Calls have been made for improving transparency in conducting and reporting research, improving work climates, and preventing detrimental research practices. To assess attitudes and practices regarding these topics, we sent a survey to authors, reviewers, and editors. We received 3,659 (4.9%) responses out of 74,749 delivered emails. We found no significant differences between authors’, reviewers’, and editors’ attitudes towards transparency in conducting and reporting research, or towards their perceptions of work climates. Undeserved authorship was perceived by all groups as the most prevalent detrimental research practice, while fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, and not citing prior relevant research, were seen as more prevalent by editors than authors or reviewers. Overall, 20% of respondents admitted sacrificing the quality of their publications for quantity, and 14% reported that funders interfered in their study design or reporting. While survey respondents came from 126 different countries, due to the survey’s overall low response rate our results might not necessarily be generalizable. Nevertheless, results indicate that greater involvement of all stakeholders is needed to align actual practices with current recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0270054
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume18
Issue number3 March
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

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