Survey of open science practices and attitudes in the social sciences

Joel Ferguson, Rebecca Littman, Garret Christensen, Elizabeth Levy Paluck, Nicholas Swanson, Zenan Wang, Edward Miguel, David Birke, John Henry Pezzuto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Open science practices such as posting data or code and pre-registering analyses are increasingly prescribed and debated in the applied sciences, but the actual popularity and lifetime usage of these practices remain unknown. This study provides an assessment of attitudes toward, use of, and perceived norms regarding open science practices from a sample of authors published in top-10 (most-cited) journals and PhD students in top-20 ranked North American departments from four major social science disciplines: economics, political science, psychology, and sociology. We observe largely favorable private attitudes toward widespread lifetime usage (meaning that a researcher has used a particular practice at least once) of open science practices. As of 2020, nearly 90% of scholars had ever used at least one such practice. Support for posting data or code online is higher (88% overall support and nearly at the ceiling in some fields) than support for pre-registration (58% overall). With respect to norms, there is evidence that the scholars in our sample appear to underestimate the use of open science practices in their field. We also document that the reported lifetime prevalence of open science practices increased from 49% in 2010 to 87% a decade later.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5401
JournalNature communications
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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