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Openness is a core value of scientific practice. There is no central authority determining the validity of scientific claims. Accumulation of scientific knowledge proceeds via open communication with the community. Sharing evidence for scientific claims facilitates critique, extension, and application. Despite the importance of open communication for scientific progress, present norms do not provide strong incentives for individual researchers to share data, materials, or their research process. Journals can provide such incentives by acknowledging open practices with badges in publications.

There are circumstances, however, in which open practices are not possible or advisable. For example, sharing some human participant data could violate confidentiality. When badge criteria cannot be met, a description in place of the badge can articulate why. Badges do not define good practice; badges certify that a particular practice was followed. Disclosure makes explicit the conditions under which the ethic of openness is superseded by other ethical concerns. Here, we introduce three badges to acknowledge Open Data, Open Materials, and Preregistration.




Version 0.99.1; 3 September 2013

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