For these changes to stick and spread, they must become systemic. We need tenure committees to reward practices such as sharing data and publishing rigorous studies that have less-than-exciting outcomes. Grant committees and journals should require preregistration or explanations of why it is not warranted. Grant-programme officers should be charged with checking that data are made available in accordance with mandates, and PhD committees should demand that results are verifiable. And we need to strengthen a culture in which top research is rigorous and trustworthy, as well as creative and exciting.
The Netherlands is showing the way. In 2016, the Dutch Research Council allocated funds for replication research and meta-research aimed at improving methodological rigour. This year, all universities and major funders in the country are discussing how to include open research practices when they assess the track records of candidates for tenure, promotion and funding.
Grass-roots enthusiasm has created a fleet of researchers who want to improve practices. Now the system must assure them that they can build successful careers by following these methods. Never again can research integrity become a taboo topic: that would only create more untrustworthy research and, ultimately, misconduct.
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