Increasing the Credibility of Political Science Research: A Proposal for Journal Reforms
Brendan Nyhan, Darmouth College
From Brendan Nyhan’s article: How can political science improve its standing in and contribution to public life? In addition to engaging more effectively in the national debate, we also can strengthen the quality and timeliness of the scholarship that we hope to bring to a wider audience.
This article proposes two sets of reforms to APSA journal practices that are intended to achieve those goals. The first proposal seeks to counter publication bias and increase incentives for careful research practices that generate replicable results. The second proposal is designed to improve the timeliness and quality of reviewer and editorial decisions during the review process.
If implemented carefully, these reforms can make the publication process more rigorous and efficient, thereby enhancing the value of the findings we produce, which would be more timely and credible and therefore more valuable to the external audiences we want to engage. In this way, improving our journal practices could enhance external perceptions of the field’s value and the level of interest in and attention to our scholarship.
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