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[Contribution to NextGen VOICES survey: Science communication's future]

Sjerps, M. J. (2013). [Contribution to NextGen VOICES survey: Science communication's future]. Science, 340 (no. 6128, online supplement). Retrieved from
One of the important challenges for the development of science communication concerns the current problems with the under-exposure of null results. I suggest that each article published in a top scientific journal can get tagged (online) with attempts to replicate. As such, a future reader of an article will also be able to see whether replications have been attempted and how these turned out. Editors and/or reviewers decide whether a replication is of sound quality. The authors of the main article have the option to review the replication and can provide a supplementary comment with each attempt that is added. After 5 or 10 years, and provided enough attempts to replicate, the authors of the main article get the opportunity to discuss/review their original study in light of the outcomes of the replications. This approach has two important strengths: 1) The approach would provide researchers with the opportunity to show that they deliver scientifically thorough work, but sometimes just fail to replicate the result that others have reported. This can be especially valuable for the career opportunities of promising young researchers; 2) perhaps even more important, the visibility of replications provides an important incentive for researchers to publish findings only if they are sure that their effects are reliable (and thereby reduce the influence of "experimenter degrees of freedom" or even outright fraud). The proposed approach will stimulate researchers to look beyond the point of publication of their studies.
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The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

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