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Good Research Practices


Entry requirements

  • Introduction to Methodology and Statistics

  • Inferential Statistics

  • Experimental and Correlational Research (or similar courses)


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 works’ 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. For science to make progress, it is important that an investigation is reproducible. Reproducible research refers to the idea that research output such as the code, data, etc. are shared in order for others to be able to reproduce, verify and build on the work. In this course students acquire the skills to plan for reproducible research (e.g., by writing an analysis plan and documenting and archiving their work according to reproducibility principles). 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.

Course objectives

Students will:

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

  • 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.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable


NOTE As of the academic year 2021-2022, you must register for all courses in uSis. You do this twice a year: once for the courses you want to take in semester 1 and once for the courses you want to take in semester 2.
Registration for courses in the first semester is possible from July. Registration for courses in the first semester is possible from December.
The exact date on which the registration starts will be published on the website of the Student Service Center (SSC). First year Bachelor students as well as premaster students will be registered by the Student Service Center; they do not need to register themselves.

The registration period for all courses closes five calendar days before the start of the course.
Also read the complete registration procedure

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—more information about this will be posted on Brightspace. 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

  • The most up to date full reading list will be available on Brightspace. This will consist of freely available literature and blogs.

Contact information

Dr. Anna van 't Veer