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Towards the enhancement of quality publication practices in clinical psychological science

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Allison M. Waters, Richard T. LeBeau, Katherine S. Young, Tiah L. Dowell, Katherine M. Ryan

Original languageEnglish
Article number103499
Pages (from-to)103499
Number of pages1
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Publication statusPublished - 2020

King's Authors


Addressing the ‘replication crisis’ and questionable research practices are at the forefront of international research agendas in clinical psychological science. The aim of this paper is to consider how the quality of research practices can be improved by a specific focus on publication practices. Currently, the responsibility for documenting quality research practices is primarily placed on authors. However, barriers to improved quality publication practices cut across all levels of the research community and require a broader approach that shares the burden for ensuring the production of high quality publications. We describe a framework that is intended to be ambitious and aspirational and encourage discussion and adoption of strategies to improve quality publication practices (QPPs). The framework cuts across multiple stakeholders and is designed to enhance (a) the quality of reporting; (b) adherence to protocols and guidelines; (c) timely accessibility of study materials and data. We discuss how QPPs might be improved by (a) funding bodies considering formally supporting QPPs; (b) research institutions encouraging a research culture that espouses quality research practices, and internally supporting QPP review processes and professional development in QPPs; (c) journals expanding editorial teams to include reviewers with design and statistical expertise, considering strategies to enhance QPP adherence during the peer review process, and committing to ongoing assessment and development of QPP training for peer reviewers; and (d) authors and peer reviewers integrating QPPs during the manuscript preparation/peer review process, engaging in ongoing QPP training, and committing to openness and transparency initiatives. We discuss the current state and potential next steps within each stage of the framework and provide information and resources to enhance QPPs. We hope that the suggestions offered here inspire research institutions, leaders and faculty to discuss, reflect on, and take action towards, integrating these, or other, QPPs into their research practice and workplace.

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