Adopting good scientific practices increases your visibility and your grade!
Adopting good scientific practices increases your visibility and your grade!

Adopting healthy scientific practices is essential for conducting good quality research. This may be intuitive but it is hard to achieve and does not happen naturally. This video from the Royal Society introduces the problem:

The term “replication crisis” emphasizes that replication, a corner stone in science, is often considered of secondary importance. If we want to fight this phenomena it is important to conduct research using practices that promote the possibility to do that.

The open science movement not only offers you a way to get credited for your work (see this post on open access for more), but also tries to solve the problem of replicability. It takes into account several aspects at the level of researchers, scientific venues, funding organizations, etc.

In this article, we will focus on aspects related to the way research is conducted and the direct implications (and advantages) for your thesis.

I am assuming that you are not interested in falsifying your data or following any other intentional malpractices. In case you wonder, if you get caught, you could face serious consequences that range from immediate nullification of your thesis to expulsion and/or immediate termination of your internship.

As a single researcher (or small group of researchers) your attention should go towards offering to other scientists the possibility to access the data that you used for the analysis as well as your procedures. In other words, to follow good research practice:

  • Carefully describe the procedures that you followed for obtaining the data.
  • Make your data publicly available so that other scientists can check what you are doing. This includes your mentor and your second reader.
  • Document each step of the process in order to be able to share this information with fellow researchers.
  • Disclose and share the programming code that you used for developing the data as well as the analysis.

Adopting these practices has several direct benefits:

  • Your supervisors and/or reviewers will be positively impressed and predispose towards a higher grade.
  • You will obtain a (very) good grade independently from your findings. In fact, your thesis is not about your findings: Showing you capability to follow the scientific method is way more important.
  • Your work could, starting from your data, be published in a relatively easy manner as a tangible follow up of your thesis. Thus, differentiating your CV from other graduated students.
  • A fellow student could decide to continue your work. Thus, you will be able to leave something tangible after you, instead of having your thesis completely forgotten.

In a nutshell, the bottom line is that good research practices will give you a better grade.

In this article, I limited myself to describing the scientific practices that a single individual should follow in pursuing his/her thesis. Adopting a more transparent approach clearly has several benefits and a direct implication on your grade. However, the problem of replicability is bigger than it may look like from this post. It is taken into serious consideration by the entire scientific community. In case you are interested in knowing more, this video gives you a general (and insightful) view on the problem:

#good #research practices like the one promoted by #OpenScience and #OpenData lead to better grades for your #Thesis as well as to a better #Science and more visibility of your work via #openaccess. Click To Tweet

This article (Adopting good scientific practices increase your visibility and the grade of your thesis) is part of the miniseries on how to do a good thesis, you can see the full list of posts at the following link:

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