PsyArXiv Preprints | When open data closes the door: Problematising a one size fits all approach to open data in journal submission guidelines

Abstract:  Opening data promises to improve research rigour and democratise knowledge production. But it also poses practical, theoretical, and ethical risks for qualitative research. Despite discussion about open data in qualitative social psychology predating the replication crisis, the nuances of this discussion have not been translated into current journal policies. Through a content analysis of 261 journals in the domain of social psychology, we establish the state of current journal policies for open data. We critically discuss how these expectations may not be adequate for establishing qualitative rigour, can introduce ethical challenges, and may place those who wish to use qualitative approaches at a disadvantage in peer review and publication processes. We assert that open data requirements should include clearer guidelines that reflect the nuance of data sharing in qualitative research, and move away from a universal ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to data sharing.


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