With the emergence of online publishing, opportunities to maximize transparency of scientific research have grown considerably. However, these possibilities are still only marginally used. We argue for the implementation of (1) peer-reviewed peer review, (2) transparent editorial hierarchies, and (3) online data publication. First, peer-reviewed peer review entails a community-wide review system in which reviews are published online and rated by peers. This ensures accountability of reviewers, thereby increasing academic quality of reviews. Second, reviewers who write many highly regarded reviews may move to higher editorial positions. Third, online publication of data ensures the possibility of independent verification of inferential claims in published papers. This counters statistical errors and overly positive reporting of statistical results. We illustrate the benefits of these strategies by discussing an example in which the classical publication system has gone awry, namely controversial IQ research. We argue that this case would have likely been avoided using more transparent publication practices. We argue that the proposed system leads to better reviews, meritocratic editorial hierarchies, and a higher degree of replicability of statistical analyses.
Keywords: peer review, scientific policy, data sharing, scientific integrity
Citation: Wicherts JM, Kievit RA, Bakker M and Borsboom D (2012) Letting the daylight in: reviewing the reviewers and other ways to maximize transparency in science. Front. Comput. Neurosci. 6:20. doi: 10.3389/fncom.2012.00020
Received: 14 May 2011; Accepted: 16 March 2012;
Published online: 03 April 2012.
Edited by:Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, UK
Reviewed by:Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, UK
Copyright: © 2012 Wicherts, Kievit, Bakker and Borsboom. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.
*Correspondence: Jelte M. Wicherts, Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Weesperplein 4, 1018 XA Amsterdam, Netherlands. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org