Abstract: Replicability and reproducibility of scientific findings is paramount for sustainable progress in neuroscience. Preregistration of the hypotheses and methods of an empirical study before analysis, the sharing of primary research data, and compliance with data standards such as the Brain Imaging Data Structure (BIDS), are considered effective practices to secure progress and to substantiate quality of research. We investigated the current level of adoption of open science practices in neuroimaging and the difficulties that prevent researchers from using them.
Email invitations to participate in the survey were sent to addresses received through a PubMed search of human functional magnetic resonance imaging studies that were published between 2010 and 2020. 283 persons completed the questionnaire.
Although half of the participants were experienced with preregistration, the willingness to preregister studies in the future was modest. The majority of participants had experience with the sharing of primary neuroimaging data. Most of the participants were interested in implementing a standardized data structure such as BIDS in their labs. Based on demographic variables, we compared participants on seven subscales, which had been generated through factor analysis. Exploratory analyses found that experienced researchers at lower career level had higher fear of being transparent and researchers with residence in the EU had a higher need for data governance. Additionally, researchers at medical faculties as compared to other university faculties reported a more unsupportive supervisor with regards to open science practices and a higher need for data governance.
The results suggest growing adoption of open science practices but also highlight a number of important impediments.