Sunday, March 01, 2015

Publication Bias, Ethics and Integrity in Research


The purpose of this lecture is introduce students to contemporary debates surrounding research ethics, integrity and publication conventions.

1. Basic Ethical principles of empirical research

Informed Consent




Participant Debriefing

Vulnerable Groups

Illingworth, Susan (2004). Approaches to Ethics in Higher Education: Learning and Teaching in Ethics across the Curriculum. The Philosophical and Religious Studies Subject Centre, Learning and Teaching Support Network, University of Leeds.

Israel, M. & Hay, I. (2006). Research Ethics for Social Scientists. London: SAGE.

Pienaar, J. (2010). Ethics in economic and management sciences: a researcher’s resource. South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, 13(2).

A Social Science Research Ethics website, developed through an ESRC funded Research Development Initiative, on training researchers in ethics and ethical practice provides a range of resources on research ethics. Lancaster University.

The RESPECT project, funded by the European Commission’s Information Society Technologies (IST) Programme, to draw up professional and ethical guidelines for the conduct of socio-economic research.

ESRC Framework for Research Ethics

FP7 Ethics for Researchers

Association of Business Schools Ethics Guide.

An EU Code of Ethics for Socio-Economic Research. 2004. The Institute for Employment Studies.

Resources for Research Ethics Education website (US).

The Research Ethics Guidebook (free online resource for social scientists).

Project for Scholarly Integrity (Council of Graduate Schools).

International Project for Academic Integrity.

National Committees for Research Ethics in Norway (2006). Guidelines for Research Ethics in the Social Sciences, Law, and The Humanities.

Council of European Social Science Data Archives: Research Ethics.

American Statistical Association: Statement on Data Access and Personal Privacy

International Statistical Institute: Declaration on Professional Ethics

International Ethical Research Involving Children (ERIC) project (Thank Muireann NĂ­ Raghallaigh for suggestion).

2. Principles of Researcher Integrity

Disclosure of interests

Misrepresentation of findings


Authorship and Contribution

Intellectual property of others


Ethics of Journal Submissions

3. Fabrication
Cyril Burt and Twin Research

NY Times Piece on Diederich Stapel

4. File-Drawer Problems, Multiple Comparisons and Publication Bias
See statement by Simonsohn:

2) Disclosure statement to include in referee reports:

"I request that the authors add a statement to the paper confirming whether, for all experiments, they have reported all measures, conditions, data exclusions, and how they determined their sample sizes. The authors should, of course, add any additional text to ensure the statement is accurate. This is the standard reviewer disclosure request endorsed by the Center for Open Science [see]. I include it in every review."

5. P-Hacking
Nelson, Simmons, Simonsohn (2012) "Let's Publish Fewer Papers," Psychological Inquiry, V23(3), 291-293.

Simonsohn, Nelson, Simmons, (in press) "P-curve: A Key to the File Drawer," Journal of Experimental Psychology: General (

Simmons, J. P., Nelson, L. D., & Simonsohn, U. (2011). "False positive psychology: Undisclosed flexibility in data collection and analysis allows presenting anything as significant". Psychological Science, 22, 1359–1366.

6. Replication of Research
Ioannidis JPA (2005) Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. PLoS Med 2(8): e124. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

APS Replication Initiative

The Many Labs Replication Project

7. Practical Advice for Researchers
Ethical Review

Storage of Data

Submission of Data and Do-Files

New Publication Conventions at Journals

ESRC Framework for Research Ethics 

Promoting Transparency in Social Science Research

The RESPECT project, funded by the European Commission’s Information Society Technologies (IST) Programme, to draw up professional and ethical guidelines for the conduct of socio-economic research.

On 1st July 2012, the American Economic Association adopted a disclosure policy, which states that "all submissions to AEA journals, including revisions of previously submitted papers, must be accompanied by a Disclosure Statement:

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