The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.
Authors: Benjamin Michael Marshall & Colin Thomas Strine
Abstract: Across many scientific disciplines, direct replication efforts and meta-analyses have fuelled concerns on the replicability of findings. Ecology and evolution are similarly affected. Investigations into the causes of this lack of replicability have implicated a suite of research practices linked to incentives in the current publishing system. Other fields have taken great strides to counter incentives that can reward obfuscation –chiefly by championing transparency. But how prominent are protransparency (open science) policies in herpetology journals? We use the recently developed Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Factor to assess the transparency promotion of 19 herpetology journals, and compare the TOP scores to broader science. We find promotion of transparent practices currently lacking in many herpetological journals; and encourage authors, students, editors, and publishers to redouble efforts to bring open science practices to herpetology by changing journal policy, peer-review, and personal practice. We promote an array of options –developed and tested in other fields– demonstrated to counter publication bias, boost research uptake, and enable more transparent science, to enrich herpetological research.
Keywords: accountability, herpetology, journal policy, open science, peer review, reproducibility, transparency