Journals or organizations self-select to become badge awarding entities. Badges are awarded to published reports of empirical research and can be part of the peer review process for publication or conducted post-publication. Currently, organizations awarding badges are doing so during the peer review process.
Any organization can issue badges as long as the process and practices are transparent. Reputation of certifying organizations will depend on the quality and reliability of their certification process. Because of this, when badges are mentioned or displayed, the awarding entity must be indicated or obvious.
There are two ways for certifying organizations to award badges for individual studies - **disclosure** or **peer review**.
Disclosure requires authors to provide public statements affirming achievement of badge criteria. The certifying organization evaluates the disclosure before issuing the badge, but does not do more than a cursory evaluation of the data, materials, or registration. Such a review might include: confirming that the provided link leads to the data, materials, or registration on a public, open access repository, and that the linked materials are related to the report. Authors follow criteria for each badge and complete disclosure items that will be made publicly available. Authors are accountable to the community for disclosure accuracy. Disclosure items:
**Open Data**: Authors complete two disclosure items for each Open Data badge application:
> 1. Provide the URL, DOI, or other permanent path for accessing the data in a public, open access repository.
> 2. Is there sufficient information for an independent researcher to reproduce the reported results? If no, explain.
**Open Materials**: Authors complete two disclosure items for each Open Materials badge application:
> 1. Provide the URL, DOI, or other permanent path for accessing the materials in a public, open access repository.
> 2. Is there sufficient information for an independent researcher to reproduce the reported methodology? If no, explain.
**Preregistered/Preregistered+Analysis Plan**: Authors complete five disclosure items for each Preregistered/Preregistered+Analysis badge application:
> 1. Provide the URL, DOI, or other permanent path to the registration (and, if applicable, the analysis plan) in a public, open access repository.
> 2. Was the plan registered prior to examination of the data or observing the outcomes? If no, explain.
> 3. Were there additional registrations for the study other than the one reported? If yes, provide links and explain.
> 4. For Preregistered+Analysis plan badge: were there any changes to the preregistered analysis plan for the primary confirmatory analysis?
> If yes, explain.
> 5. For Preregistered+Analysis plan badge: are all of the analyses described in the registered plan reported in the article? If no,
Preregistration is invalidated if (1) is not provided, or (3) is answered “yes” without strong justification. If (5) is answered “no” without strong justification, manuscript is ineligible for preregistered+analysis plan badge. DE notation is added to badge if (2) is “no.” TC notation is added if (4) is “yes” with strong justification for changes.
Peer review involves independent evaluation of the open data, open materials, or preregistration to verify that badge criteria are met. Authors follow criteria for each badge and complete disclosure about items that will be made publicly available. The certifying organization conducts a formal review of the disclosure and data, materials or registration to verify whether badge criteria are met. Peer review provides independent certification, but is more resource intensive. Badges awarded following peer review receive an additional “PR” notation. In most cases, badge review would occur following acceptance of the report for publication. There are at least four procedures for the review process of badge applications:
- Reviewers of the report can also review associated data, materials, and preregistration.
- Additional reviewer(s) can be recruited specifically for badge review.
- An organization staff member could provide badge review.
- An independent organization could provide badge review as a service for the certifying organization.
The disclosure and peer review awarding processes described here are not limited to any substantive domain. Additional disclosure items or review practices may be added by the certifying organization based on disciplinary needs. For example, disciplines may have different requirements for evaluating whether the “data necessary to reproduce the reported results” criterion is met for the Open Data badge. Certifying organizations should make publicly available additional criteria and additional specific requirements for meeting all criteria.
Version 1.1; 24 June 2015