Publishing and integrity


13.30 - 17.00

Atrium Medische Faculteit, D146, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Seminar ‘Publishing and integrity: is openness the answer?’

Dr. Marjan Bakker, Dr. Jelte M. Wicherts, Prof. dr. Jacintha Ellers

Aanmelden en/of vragen: [email protected]

VU Bibliotheek

Business and Organisation


De wereld van het wetenschappelijk publiceren is onderhevig aan een aantal nieuwe, soms controversiële, ontwikkelingen. Eén daarvan is de toename van publicatiemethoden die het onderzoeksproces opener maken. Voor dit gratis seminar nodigt de UB 3 sprekers uit die hierover een uitgesproken mening hebben. Met hun prikkelende bijdragen maken zij onderzoekers van de VU bewust van de ontwikkelingen en brengen ze de discussie hierover op gang.


13.30: ontvangst met koffie en thee

14.00: Welkomstwoord en inleiding door de dagvoorzitter prof. dr. Gjalt de Graaf, hoogleraar Integriteit van Academisch Onderwijs aan de Faculteit der Sociale wetenschappen van de VU.

Dr. Marjan Bakker, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences: Transparency and openness in science. 
Dr. Marjan Bakker gaat in op nieuwe manieren van publiceren om een open onderzoekscultuur te bevorderen. Lees hier de Engelse bio en abstract.

Dr. Jelte M. Wicherts, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences: Transparency and the review process. 
De bijdrage van dr. Jelte Wicherts zal gaan over de modernisering van het review proces. Lees hier de Engelse bio en abstract.

Prof. dr. Jacintha Ellers, Faculteit der aard- en levenswetenschappen, VU: ‘The Open access publication process: a need for scientific integrity, financial transparency and global equity’. 
Prof. dr. Jacintha Ellers zal ingaan op de integriteit, internationale implicaties en financiële transparantie van zogenaamde cascade tijdschriften, zoals bijvoorbeeld Plos One. Lees hier de Engelse bio en abstract.


Presentaties en discussies zijn in het Engels. Meld je kosteloos aan via [email protected]. Vermeld bij je opgave je naam, afdeling en faculteit, functie en e-mailadres. 

Het seminar wordt georganiseerd door het e-Publishing team van de UBVU. Vragen en/of opmerkingen? Neem gerust contact op met het team via [email protected].


Bio's and abstracs

emptyDr. Marjan Bakker, ‘Transparency and openness in science’

Many scientific disciplines, like psychology and medicine, are currently in a credibility crisis. Prominent research findings failed to replicate, errors in reporting of significance testing are common, and the use of Questionable Research Practices (QRPs) in the collection and analysis of data and reporting of results appears to be widespread. This crisis has resulted in a call for more transparency and openness to improve science. Different initiatives have already started. Data and materials become more easily available for other researchers by using for example the open science framework, and good sharing behavior is awarded with badges. Another solution to guarantee the confirmatory nature of a study is preregistration, which is registering the hypothesis, study design, and data-analysis plan prior to data collection. Several journals have started publishing registered reports, which are peer reviewed before data collection and are published regardless of what the results will show. Furthermore, several applications are developed to make preregistration easier. 

Marjan Bakker obtained her PhD (2014) in psychological methods from the University of Amsterdam and is currently assistant professor of methodology and statistics at the Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Tilburg University. Her dissertation is titled “Good science, bad science: Questioning Research Practices in Psychology”, and her research interests are scientific integrity, errors in statistics, statistical power, publication bias, preregistration, blind analysis, and psychometrics. She has published many highly cited papers that contributed to the current reproducibility debate in psychology. 

emptyDr. Jelte M. Wicherts, ‘Transparency and the review process’ 

Peer review is a core method of quality control in the sciences, but several large-scale surveys and scandals have highlighted that it does not always function optimally. For instance, substandard peer review in some Open Access journals (as shown by John Bohannon submitting fake papers), reviewing stings in which researchers reviewed their own submissions, potential nepotism or bias in peer review, peer review’s role in maintaining publication bias, and cases of scientific misconduct that were not uncovered by peer reviewers have sparked debate on how to improve the quality of peer review. Here I discuss ways in which transparency of the peer review system could help improve accountability and quality in peer review. I present recent work we have done to rate the transparency of the peer review system at academic journals and discuss ways to strengthen the peer review system, including post-publication review, methods to improve accountability, and the use of automated tools to detect errors in the reporting of statistical results that appear to be particularly common in my own field of psychology.

Jelte M. Wicherts (1976) is associate professor of methodology and statistics at the Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Tilburg University. He obtained his PhD (2007, cum laude) in psychological methods from the University of Amsterdam with a dissertation on group differences in intelligence and currently leads a research group in meta-research at Tilburg University. His research focuses on psychometrics, questionable research practices, transparency, research misconduct, errors with statistics, publication bias, peer review, and meta-analysis. He published over 75 peer-reviewed articles and obtained various awards and grants, including Veni and Vidi grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). He is an affiliate member of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford.

emptyProf. dr. Jacintha Ellers, ‘The Open Access publication process: a need for scientific integrity

Open Access publishing (OAP) has transformed the scientific landscape. The benefits of OAP are clear in that it makes research transparent and available, and several national governments have now made OAP mandatory for all publicly funded research. However, OAP causes two primary areas of concern that stem from a lack of policy on financing and the increase in number of publications. First, without the necessary legislation, OAP drives a redistribution of valuable research money to support OA papers in ‘mega-journals’ with more permissive acceptance criteria. We present evidence, using the pioneering publisher, Public Library of Science, that this process draw disproportionally on developing countries to generate financial support for more prestigious OA journals. Second, the surge in number of publications caused by OAP results in a dilution of scientific knowledge, making it more difficult for policy makers to synthesize information and increasing the risk that ‘light’ peer-reviewed literature is used to justify any of their agendas. We need to develop stringent, scientific and fair criteria for OAP if society is to benefit from this new approach to scholarly publishing. Importantly, these criteria should also touch on global implications of the business models, as publication fees should reflect the real cost of publishing and be transparent for authors. These are necessary steps to develop policies for sound Open Access Publishing without sacrificing scientific quality.

Jacintha Ellers is a Professor of Evolutionary Ecology in the Department of Ecological Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Her research interest addresses the interplay between genes and environment in a variety of study systems. Currently, she increasingly applies molecular and genetic tools to understand the evolutionary trajectories leading towards trait loss and its importance in ecological interactions, for which she received a prestigious VICI fellowship. She is an editor of Journal of Insect Physiology and serves in the board of the European Society of Evolutionary Biology. She is an active participant in the debate on Open Access Publishing and has written several commentaries on this topic for major newspapers.