Shifting Incentives From Getting It Published To Getting It Right
Abstract: The currency of academic science is publishing. Producing novel, positive, and clean results maximizes the likelihood of publishing success because those are the best kind of results. There are multiple ways to produce such results: (1) be a genius, (2) be lucky, (3) be patient, or (4) employ flexible analytic and selective reporting practices to manufacture beauty. In a competitive marketplace with minimal accountability, it is hard to avoid (4). But, there is a way. With results, beauty is contingent on what is known about their origin. With methodology, if it looks beautiful, it is beautiful. The only way to be rewarded for something other than the results is to make transparent how they were obtained. With openness, I won’t stop aiming for beautiful papers, but when I get them, it will be clear that I earned them.