Improving the Research Culture to Increase Credibility of Research Findings

Brian A. Nosek1,2


Improving openness, rigor, and reproducibility in research is less a technical challenge and more a social challenge. Current practice is sustained by dysfunctional incentives that prioritize publication over accuracy and transparency. The consequence is unnecessary friction in research progress. Successful culture change requires coordinated policy, incentive, and normative changes across stakeholders to improve research credibility and accelerate progress.


Rates of preregistration; sharing of data, materials, and code; and practices that improve reproducibility of findings are increasing over time. However, some stakeholder groups and disciplines are making more progress than others. There are a variety of factors that account for why some activities are accelerating in some disciplines and are stalled in others.


A substantial challenge for effective culture change is addressing the coordination problem in which there are many independent stakeholders driving research rewards and practice. These actors could be doing more collaboratively to align incentives and rewards with core scholarly values to accelerate discovery and advancement of knowledge, solutions, and treatments.

1 Center for Open Science, Charlottesville, VA, USA, nosek@cos.io;
2Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA

Conflict of Interest Disclosures

Brian A. Nosek is an employee of the nonprofit Center for Open Science, which has a mission to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of research.


Brian A. Nosek has received funding related to this abstract from Arnold Ventures, Templeton Religion Trust, Templeton World Charity Foundation, John Templeton Foundation, Flu Lab, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency.

Role of the Funder/Sponsor

The funders played no role in the preparation or approval of this abstract.