Descriptive developmental research seeks to document, describe and analyze the conditions under which infants and children live and learn. Here, we articulate how open-science practices can be incorporated into descriptive research to increase its transparency, reliability and replicability. To date, most open-science practices have been oriented toward experimental rather than descriptive studies, and it can be unclear how to translate open-science practices (e.g., preregistration) for research that is more descriptive in nature. We discuss a number of unique considerations for descriptive developmental research, taking inspiration from existing open-science practices and providing examples from recent and ongoing studies. By embracing a scientific culture where descriptive research and open science coexist productively, developmental science will be better positioned to generate comprehensive theories of development and understand variability in development across communities and cultures.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- child development
- descriptive research
- infant development
- open science