Preregistrations are a vital part of science, and we support preregistrations in confirmatory research (which does not imply that exploratory research has no value). Many of the signatories already do preregistrations on a regular basis.
However, in the commitment we define what steps in research transparency we always will do. As we will not always preregister every study, we did not include it in the commitment. A statement like “We often will preregister our studies” didn’t seem to fit.
Does transparency commitment #2 on reproducible scripts require use of open source software (e.g., R)?
The 12 points of the commitment come as a bundle. If you sign the commitment on this webpage, you should agree and comply to all 12 points.
There are, however, two ways to alter the commitment:
- “Sign-and-extend”: If you agree and comply to the 12 points of the commitment but want to add other points, you can sign the commitment and add additional aspects to your personal commitment (for an example, see Jim Grange’s blog post, who added an additional point about pre-prints).
- “Modify to a personalized commitment”: The commitment is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. That means, you can copy, share, or adapt the text of the commitment as long as you cite the original authors and link back to the original commitment. You can use our commitment as starting point and craft your personal commitment on a transparency level that you feel comfortable with. If you remove points from the commitment, however, you should not sign on this website and not use the blue badge.
Additionally, if you want to suggest a change in the wording of the “official” commitment, or suggest an additional point, feel free to write an email to email@example.com.
I work with third-party data (such as SOEP) and signed a contract that I do not hand out the raw data to others. Does that violate point 1 of the commitment?
From our point of view, that would be a justified exception to point 1, as long as you provide that justification in the author note. Maybe the data holder has good arguments not to release the data, e.g. for anonymity reasons.
But point 12 says that we promote the values of open science at our institutions. That means, you could express your wish to the data holder that the data are released under an open license. If enough users of the data set do that, maybe they can achieve that change.
I typically work with interview data/ sensitive clinical data / … that cannot be anonymized and published as Open Data. I cannot sign the commitment, as I would frequently violate point 1.
The commitment clearly states in the preamble: “to every guideline there can be justified exceptions”. If you can convincingly explain why your data cannot be published due to anonymity reasons, it is perfectly OK not to comply to point 1. If you sign the commitment, you simply should give that justification in the author note, or in the README file of your public project repository.
You should also think about making aggregate level data open. For example, if you analyzed your interviews by counting certain topics or keywords, you could probably publish these summary data without compromising the anonymity of your participants. This way, at least your quantitative analyses can be reproduced.
In any way, this would not be a reason not to sign the commitment.