A signature strength of science is that the evidence is reproducible. However, direct replications rarely appear in psychology journals because standard incentives emphasize novelty over verification. This Research Topic, “Replication Attempts of Important Results in the Study of Cognition,” alters those incentives. We welcome proposals for high-powered, direct replications of important results in all areas of cognitive psychology, ranging from perception to social cognition. The review process will focus on the soundness of the design and analysis, not whether the outcome is positive or negative.
What are important results?
Importance is subjective but demonstrable. Proposals must justify the replication value of the finding to be replicated. To merit publication in this issue, the original result should be important (e.g., highly cited, a topic of intense scholarly or public interest, a challenge to established theories), but also should have uncertain truth-value (e.g., few confirmations, imprecise estimates of effect sizes). The prestige of the original publishing journal is not sufficient to justify replication value.
What replication formats are encouraged?
Proposals should be for direct replications that faithfully reproduce the original procedure, materials, and analysis for verification. Conceptual replications that attempt to improve theoretical understanding by changing the operational definition of the constructs will not be considered for this issue. Articles in the issue can take two forms:
(1) Registered replication. Authors submit the introduction, methods, and analysis plan for a replication study or studies. These proposals will be reviewed for their importance and soundness. Once provisionally accepted, if authors complete the study as proposed, the results will be published without regard to the outcome. Registered replication proposals also could include: (a) collaborations between two or more laboratories independently attempting to replicate an effect with the same materials, (b) joint replication by the original laboratory and another laboratory, or (c) adversarial collaborations in which laboratories with competing expectations prepare a joint registered proposal and conduct independent replications. Only adequately powered tests of results with high replication value will be considered.
(2) Registered replication + existing replication attempts. Researchers may already have performed several experiments attempting to replicate published findings. These experiments may be included in the submission, but each submission should include at least one registered replication. Authors should report the experiments they have already completed (including the results) and describe the registered experiment that they plan to run.
1. Submission of Abstract (deadline 01 April 2013).
Abstracts will be reviewed by the host editors. Authors will be notified by April 15, 2013 whether they are asked to submit a full proposal.
2. Submission of full proposal (deadline 01 June 2013)
Full proposals fall in two categories: (1) Registered replication, or (2) Registered replication + existing replication attempts (See below for details).
Full proposals will be sent out for review. If proposal is accepted authors can start data collection.
3. Submission of final manuscript including results and discussion sections (deadline April 1, 2014).
Final manuscript will be reviewed to check whether the research project was complete
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.
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