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      Badges for sharing data and code at Biostatistics: an observational study

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          Background:  Reproducible research includes sharing data and code.  The reproducibility policy at the journal Biostatistics rewards articles with badges for data and code sharing.  This study investigates the effect of badges at increasing reproducible research, specifically, data and code sharing, at Biostatistics.

          Methods:  The setting of this observational study is the Biostatistics and Statistics in Medicine (control journal) online research archives.  The data consisted of 240 randomly sampled articles from 2006 to 2013 (30 articles per year) per journal, a total sample of 480 articles.  Data analyses included: plotting probability of data and code sharing by article submission date, and Bayesian logistic regression modelling to test for a difference in the probability of making data and code available after the introduction of badges at Biostatistics

          Results:  The probability of data sharing was higher at Biostatistics than the control journal but the probability of code sharing was comparable for both journals.  The probability of data sharing increased by 3.5 times (95% credible interval: 1.4 to 7.4 times, p-value probability that sharing increased: 0.996) after badges were introduced at Biostatistics.  On an absolute scale, however, this difference was only a 7.3% increase in data sharing (95% CI: 2 to 14%, p-value: 0.996).  Badges did not have an impact on code sharing at the journal (mean increase: 1.1 times, 95% credible interval: 0.45 to 2.14 times, p-value probability that sharing increased: 0.549). 

          Conclusions:  The effect of badges at Biostatistics was a 7.3% increase in the data sharing rate, 5 times less than the effect of badges on data sharing at Psychological Science (37.9% badge effect).  Though the effect of badges at Biostatistics did not impact code sharing, and was associated with only a moderate effect on data sharing, badges are an interesting step that journals are taking to incentivise and promote reproducible research.

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          Most cited references 18

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          Reproducible research in computational science.

           Roger Peng (2011)
          Computational science has led to exciting new developments, but the nature of the work has exposed limitations in our ability to evaluate published findings. Reproducibility has the potential to serve as a minimum standard for judging scientific claims when full independent replication of a study is not possible.
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            What does research reproducibility mean?

            The language and conceptual framework of "research reproducibility" are nonstandard and unsettled across the sciences. In this Perspective, we review an array of explicit and implicit definitions of reproducibility and related terminology, and discuss how to avoid potential misunderstandings when these terms are used as a surrogate for "truth."
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              • Abstract: found
              • Article: found
              Is Open Access

              Badges to Acknowledge Open Practices: A Simple, Low-Cost, Effective Method for Increasing Transparency

              Beginning January 2014, Psychological Science gave authors the opportunity to signal open data and materials if they qualified for badges that accompanied published articles. Before badges, less than 3% of Psychological Science articles reported open data. After badges, 23% reported open data, with an accelerating trend; 39% reported open data in the first half of 2015, an increase of more than an order of magnitude from baseline. There was no change over time in the low rates of data sharing among comparison journals. Moreover, reporting openness does not guarantee openness. When badges were earned, reportedly available data were more likely to be actually available, correct, usable, and complete than when badges were not earned. Open materials also increased to a weaker degree, and there was more variability among comparison journals. Badges are simple, effective signals to promote open practices and improve preservation of data and materials by using independent repositories.

                Author and article information

                Role: ConceptualizationRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – Original Draft Preparation
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data CurationRole: Formal AnalysisRole: MethodologyRole: SoftwareRole: SupervisionRole: ValidationRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – Review & Editing
                F1000 Research Limited (London, UK )
                19 January 2018
                : 7
                [1 ]Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, 4001, Australia
                [1 ]Division of Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA
                [2 ]Open Humans (, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
                Queensland University of Technology, Australia
                [1 ]Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
                [2 ]Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
                Queensland University of Technology, Australia
                Author notes

                No competing interests were disclosed.

                Competing interests: No competing interests were disclosed.

                Competing interests: No competing interests

                Competing interests: I am the former chair of the Open Science Badges Committee.

                Competing interests: No competing interests.

                Copyright: © 2018 Rowhani-Farid A and Barnett AG

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Funded by: Queensland University of Technology
                This study was supported in kind by the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at the Queensland University of Technology.
                The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Research Article


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