Freiling, Isabelle, et al. "The science of open (communication) science: Toward an evidence-driven understanding of quality criteria in communication research." Journal of Communication, (2021).

This paper explores the challenges that the application of the principles of Open Science encounters in the communication field, such as the role played by replicability and reproducibility as quality criteria.

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Pablo Markin

Community Manager, Open Research Community

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14 days ago

For some fields predominantly using qualitative or comparative methods, such as communication studies, the close association of Open Science with statistical replicability or reproducibility criteria demands a broadening of its conceptual toolkit, evaluation criteria and disciplinary frames of reference. In other words, as Freiling et al. (2021) suggest in this article, Open Access to research results also invites their quality evaluations, the standards for which in humanities and social sciences (HSS) can be significantly different that those in physics or medical sciences.  Thus, whereas in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) the methodological replicability of empirical results or reproducibility of research methods can be expected to act as quality criteria, in HSS discussions around these are less frequent, also because data samples, research subjects or expertise areas tend to be unique with limited comparability across individual studies. Consequently, whereas in scholarly fields, such as economics or psychology, more strongly reliant on quantitative methods or causal models, the adoption of Open Access can be endogenously facilitated by the prevalence of statistical research methodologies, other scholarly areas with high levels of data or outcome variability and discipline fragmentation into separate fields of inquiry likely face internal challenges to the adoption of Open Science practices, such as concerns about the signaling effects of preprint publications or preregistration reports, while resulting in opportunity costs. Likewise, for qualitative or comparative studies, it can be difficult to establish shared research data or method quality criteria, while leading to concerns about the early exposure of research results or plans. Research ethics can also impose limitations on the disclosure of primary data, as that can entail individual privacy, informed consent and participant anonymization issues.