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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Should psychologists sign their reviews? Some thoughts and some data.

  • Author(s): Lynam, Donald R
  • Hyatt, Courtland S
  • Hopwood, Christopher J
  • Wright, Aidan GC
  • Miller, Joshua D
  • et al.

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The Open Science Movement (OSM) emphasizes increased transparency at many of the steps in the scientific process and has improved psychological science. In the present article, we discuss whether such transparency should find its way into the review process. We discuss a priori thoughts and intuitions about the costs and benefits of signing reviews. In terms of benefits, these include greater alignment with OSM and greater accountability leading to increases in civility, care, and thoughtfulness of reviews. The most obvious cost is potential retaliation for negative reviews. To check these intuitions, we surveyed a sample of 358 faculty members about their experience and views on signing reviews. Results both underscored and extended the initial intuitions. Results suggest there are many benefits to increasing the incidence of reviewers signing their reviews. Fears of retaliation seem to be somewhat exaggerated. We discuss possible means of reducing the possibility of retaliation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

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