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Prospectus

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Good Research Practices

Course
2019-2020

Entry requirements

  • Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics

  • Inferential Statistics

  • Experimental and Correlational Research (or similar courses)

Description

Recently, the replicability of findings in Psychology—and with that the integrity of the literature—has been questioned, and several reforms for good research practices have been proposed as solutions. Papers about questionable research practices (QRP's) have fueled the reform, and we will discuss several of them in this course. Although QRP's such as selectively reporting what 'work's differ from fraud, they nevertheless hamper scientific progress. In this course we point out the many choices to be made in any psychological investigation and the decisions that lead to best research practices. Knowledge of good research practices can help students perform better research themselves, and can help them evaluate papers or media items in the field of psychology now and in their future careers. For science to make progress, it is important that an investigation is reproducible. Reproducible research refers to the idea that the ultimate product of academic research is a paper along with the full computational environment used to produce the results in the paper such as the code, data, etc. that can be used to reproduce the results. Next to being able to retrace all the steps in the research pipeline, this also offers the opportunity to create new work based on previous research. In this course students acquire the skills required to make research reproducible.

Course objectives

Students will:

  • Learn about the consequences of the many choices that need to be made when doing research;

  • Learn about pitfalls (e.g., Questionable Research Practices) in research projects and how to prevent them (e.g., by making a preanalysis plan);

  • Learn how to critically evaluate published research from a research integrity perspective; and

  • Acquire the skills required to make research reproducible.

Timetable

For the timetables of your lectures, workgroups, and exams, select your study programme.
Psychology timetables

Lectures Work group sessions Exams

Registration

Course

Students need to register for lectures, workgroups and exams.
Instructions for registration in courses for the 2nd and 3rd year

Elective

Elective students have to enroll for each course separately. For admission requirements contact your study advisor.

Exchange/Study abroad

For admission requirements, please contact your exchange coordinator.

Examination

Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date; students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination.
Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

  • 4 2-hour lectures

  • 8 2-hour computer labs

In the work group sessions students work towards two assignments. The sessions consist of making a preanalysis plan and mock results section, student presentations of their plans, executing the planned analyses, documenting all steps in a reproducible way, and reviewing the report of another group.

Assessment method

2 graded assignments each weighting 30% of the final grade and an exam with multiple choice and open questions weighting 40% of the final grade. The exam covers both the reading list and topics discussed during the lectures. Students are entitled to view their marked examination within a period of 30 days following the publication of the results of a written examination—the date and time of a collective viewing will be posted on Blackboard. The entire course is in English, although students may opt to answer the open questions on the exam in Dutch.

The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for grade calculation and compulsory attendance. It also follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of these three policies.

Reading list

  • John, Loewenstein and Prelec (2012): http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/04/16/0956797611430953.full

  • Simmons, Nelson, and Simonsohn (2011): http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2011/10/17/0956797611417632.full

  • Olken (2015): http://www.jstor.org/stable/43550121

  • Wagenmakers et.al (2012): http://www.ejwagenmakers.com/2012/WagenmakersEtAl2012PoPS.pdf

  • Wicherts & Bakker (2012): http://marjanbakker.eu/Wicherts%20Bakker%202012.pdf

  • Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity 2018 (especially sections 1, 2, and 3):
    https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/binaries/content/assets/ul2staff/onderzoek/kwaliteit-en-integriteit/netherlands-code-of-conduct-for-research-integrity_2018_uk.pdf

  • http://jeromyanglim.blogspot.nl/2009/10/introduction-to-spss-syntax-advice-for.html

  • Read the information on this website (part: Before your research), and know when to apply a data management plan (the template provided under Data Management Plans): https://www.library.universiteitleiden.nl/research-and-publishing/datamanagement/before-research

Contact information

Dr. Anna van 't Veer a.e.van.t.veer@fsw.leidenuniv.nl