Could Anonymity Help *Fight* Bad Science?

Besides some snappy visuals and blurry distinctions between intentional and unintentional sloppy research practices, this graphic on ‘bad science’ offered a few recommendations to stem the tide:

  • Make all raw data available to other scientists
  • Hold journalists accountable
  • Introduce anonymous publishing

The first recommendation makes a lot of sense.  If scientists are serious about allowing for experiments to be repeated in order to try and reproduce results, having raw data widely available makes that easier to do.  (I see no need to limit this availability to other scientists, but that’s a separate conversation.) The graphic says that only 44 percent of ‘high-profile’ journals require making raw data available as a condition of publication.  I would think that such raw data disclosure could be made part of the increasing number of institutional and other repositories for open access.

The second recommendation is pretty vague.  Continue reading