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PLoS One. 2017 Apr 17;12(4):e0175583. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175583. eCollection 2017.

The influence of journal submission guidelines on authors' reporting of statistics and use of open research practices.

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School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom.
School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Department of General Psychology, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.
Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom.


From January 2014, Psychological Science introduced new submission guidelines that encouraged the use of effect sizes, estimation, and meta-analysis (the "new statistics"), required extra detail of methods, and offered badges for use of open science practices. We investigated the use of these practices in empirical articles published by Psychological Science and, for comparison, by the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, during the period of January 2013 to December 2015. The use of null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) was extremely high at all times and in both journals. In Psychological Science, the use of confidence intervals increased markedly overall, from 28% of articles in 2013 to 70% in 2015, as did the availability of open data (3 to 39%) and open materials (7 to 31%). The other journal showed smaller or much smaller changes. Our findings suggest that journal-specific submission guidelines may encourage desirable changes in authors' practices.

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