Postprint “Who believes in the storybook image of the scientist?”

A new manuscript by the Meta Research group is in press at Accountability in Research; primary author Coosje Veldkamp. The final paper will be available Open Access, but in the meantime find the abstract below and the postprint on PsyArxiv.


Do lay people and scientists themselves recognize that scientists are human and therefore prone to human fallibilities such as error, bias, and even dishonesty? In a series of three experimental studies and one correlational study (total N = 3,278) we found that the ‘storybook image of the scientist’ is pervasive: American lay people and scientists from over 60 countries attributed considerably more objectivity, rationality, open-mindedness, intelligence, integrity, and communality to scientists than other highly-educated people. Moreover, scientists perceived even larger differences than lay people did. Some groups of scientists also differentiated between different categories of scientists: established scientists attributed higher levels of the scientific traits to established scientists than to early-career scientists and PhD students, and higher levels to PhD students than to early-career scientists. Female scientists attributed considerably higher levels of the scientific traits to female scientists than to male scientists. A strong belief in the storybook image and the (human) tendency to attribute higher levels of desirable traits to people in one’s own group than to people in other groups may decrease scientists’ willingness to adopt recently proposed practices to reduce error, bias and dishonesty in science.

Leamer-Rosenthal Prize for statcheck

Michèle Nuijten and Sacha Epskamp are two of the nine winners of the 2016 Leamer-Rosenthal prize for Open Social Science for their work on statcheck. This prize is an initiative of the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS), and comes with a prize of $10,000.

They will receive their prize at the 2016 BITSS annual meeting, along with seven other researchers and educators.

Announcing two of nine winners of the 2016 Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes for Open Social Science: Michèle Nuijten and Sacha Epskamp!

Media attention for statcheck

Lately there has been quite some media attention for statcheck. In a piece in Nature, Monya Baker has written a thorough and nuanced overview of statcheck and the PubPeer project of Chris Hartgerink, in which he scanned 50,000 papers and posted the statcheck results on the online forum PubPeer. In the Nature editorial this type of post-publication peer review is discussed.

Some other interesting coverage of statcheck can be found here:

Buranyi, S. (2016). Scientists are worried about `peer review by algorithm’. Motherboard (VICE)URL

Resnick, B. (2016). A bot crawled thousands of studies looking for simple math errors. The results are concerning. VoxURL

Kershner, K. (2016). Statcheck: when bots `correct’ academics. How Stuff Works URL

Keulemans, M. (2016). Worden sociale wetenschappen geterroriseerd door jonge onderzoekers?: Oorlog onder psychologen. De Volkskrant. URL