The King’s Open Research Conference (KORC) aimed to bring together an international, interdisciplinary audience of researchers to engender a shift to robust research practices: for the betterment of both research quality and culture. The overarching aim of the conference was to promote Open Research practices, which represent the best practices in reproducible and transparent research that are applicable to many if not all research domains.
Recordings of all talks can be viewed below.
Scientific fraud and misconduct
Stuart Ritchie, PhD
Lecturer | King’s College London, UK
Dr Ritchie is a psychologist and science communicator known for his research in human intelligence. He has served as a lecturer in the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre at King’s College London since 2018. His research interests include understanding how and why people’s intellectual abilities develop and change across their lives. His forthcoming book, Science Fictions, is about how fraud, bias, error, and hype undermine scientific research.
About the talk
Dr Ritchie talks about scientific fraud and misconduct, which are the subject of his new book Science Fictions: Exposing Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype.
Questionable research practices
Amy Orben, PhD
College Research Fellow | University of Cambridge, UK
Dr Amy Orben is College Research Fellow at Emmanuel College and the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit. Her work using large-scale datasets to investigate social media use and teenage mental health has put into question many long-held assumptions about the potential risks and benefits of ’screen time’. Alongside her research, Amy campaigns for the use of improved statistical methodology in the behavioural sciences and the adoption of more transparent and open scientific practices, having co-founded the global ReproducibiliTea initiative.
About the talk
In this talk, Dr Orben discusses moving away from questionable research practices.
Publication and citation bias
Dorothy Bishop, PhD
Professor of Developmental Neuropsychology | University of Oxford, UK
Dorothy Bishop is based at the University of Oxford, where she heads an ERC-funded programme of research into cerebral lateralisation for language. She is an honorary fellow of St John’s College Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal Society, Fellow of the British Academy and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. Her main research interests are in the nature and causes of developmental language difficulties, with a particular focus on psycholinguistics, neurobiology and genetics. Her book Uncommon Understanding won the British Psychological Society’s annual award in 1999, and she has published widely on children’s language disorders. She also chairs the advisory board of the recently-formed UK Reproducibility Network. She has a popular blog, Bishopblog, which features posts on a wide range of topics, including those relevant to reproducibility. She is also on Twitter as @deevybee.
About the talk
Professor Bishop talks about one of the four horsemen of irreproducibility – publication and its menacing twin citation bias.
Research ecosystem and incentives
Marcus Munafò, PhD
Professor of Biological Psychology | University of Bristol, UK
Marcus Munafò is Professor of Biological Psychology at the University of Bristol, and Programme Lead within the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit. Together with Angela Attwood and Olivia Maynard, he leads the Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group. His research interests focus on causal influences on and consequences of health behaviours, using approaches that include epidemiology, human laboratory studies, and field trials. He is also interested in how current incentive structures within science shape the behaviour of scientists and have an impact on the quality of published work. He recently, together with colleagues from Cardiff, Oxford, Imperial College and Edinburgh, established the UK Reproducibility Network.
About the talk
Professor Munafò discusses how open research fits within the current research ecosystem.
UK Reproducibility Network
Laura Fortunato, PhD
Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology | University of Oxford, UK
Professor Fortunato’s research aims to understand the evolution of human social and cultural behaviour, working at the interface of anthropology and biology. She studied Biological Sciences at the University of Padova (Laurea, 2003) and Anthropology at University College London (MRes, 2004; PhD, 2009). Between 2010 and 2013, she held an Omidyar Fellowship at the Santa Fe Institute, where she is currently an External Professor. Since September 2013, she has been based at the University of Oxford, as Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology and Tutorial Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford. She recently, together with colleagues from Bristol, Cardiff, Imperial College and Edinburgh, established the UK Reproducibility Network.
About the talk
As a member of the Steering Group for the UK Reproducibility Network, Professor Fortunato outlines the work of the UKRN in championing open research initiatives.
Importance of Registered Reports
PhD Student | Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
Anne studied Psychology at the University of Heidelberg and Psychological Research Methods at the University of Glasgow, and worked in a Developmental Psychology lab at LMU Munich for two years. Her background is in infant research, but since she first learned about the replication crisis in psychology, she devoted more and more time to follow the discussions around ways to make research more transparent and reproducible (open science). Eventually this led her to switch tracks and turn to meta-science as her main research focus. In October 2017, she started her PhD in Daniël Lakens’ project “Increasing the reliability and efficiency of psychological science” at TU Eindhoven. Her main research interest is how research and publication practices can improve the reproducibility of the published literature, and how researchers can be encouraged to design more falsifiable and informative studies. Anne blogs regularly for http://www.the100.ci/.
About the talk
Anne gives a primer on Registered Reports and discusses their contributions to the open research movement.
Teaching reproducibility in undergraduates
Kate Button, PhD
Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology | University of Bath, UK
Dr Button’s research focuses on the cognitive mechanisms that contribute to common mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. She is an advocate for the use of rigorous research practices to improve the reproducibility and reliability of experimental research, and has spoken about scientific rigour at several influential stakeholder meetings, including the National Science Foundation workshop on robust research in the social, behavioural, and economic sciences, held in Arlington, USA, 2014, and the reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research symposium held at the Academy of Medical Sciences, UK, 2015. She sits on several scientific advisory panels, including the steering group for Registered Reports. In her current post as lecturer, she is developing innovative methods for improving the rigour of undergraduate and taught-masters research projects.
About the talk
Dr Button explains how best to introduce open research ideas early on in research training, including at undergraduate and masters level.
Roundtable with JISC, ReproducibiliTea, UCL Press, Wellcome Trust, and UKRIO
Chief Executive | UK Research Integrity Office, UK
Since 2008, James has been Chief Executive of the UK Research Integrity Office, overseeing UKRIO’s transition to a registered charity supported by more than 100 research organisations. He directs UKRIO’s work programme and leads its advisory service, responding to queries and concerns about research practice from researchers and the public. He developed UKRIO’s core guidance publications, such as its Code of Practice for Research, which are used by many leading research organisations. James works with UKRIO’s subscribers and the wider UK research community to provide them with tailored support on research practice. He regularly speaks on how to sustain and enhance research integrity; audiences have included the Royal Society, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, the Irish National Forum on Research Integrity, the UK Research Integrity Forum and the World Conference on Research Integrity. James has collaborated in numerous initiatives to support research integrity. He has worked with the Royal Society and other bodies on initiatives to effect positive change to research culture, assisted with the revision of the UK Concordat to Support Research Integrity, revised policies and systems for research integrity and governance at many universities, and regularly delivers training and discussion sessions at UK research organisations. Prior to joining UKRIO, James worked as an archaeologist and a university administrator.
Lara Speicher, PhD
Head of Publishing | University College London, UK
Dr Lara Speicher is Head of Publishing at UCL Press, the university press for University College London. She joined UCL in 2013, where she set up UCL Press, the first fully open access university press in the UK. UCL Press has now published over 150 scholarly books, has a portfolio of 13 journals, and has achieved over 3 million downloads around the world since launching in 2015. Lara has worked in publishing for over 20 years and previously held senior editorial and management roles at British Library Publishing and BBC Books.
Research Strategy Lead | Jisc, UK
Victoria leads the delivery and implementation of Jisc’s research strategy, supporting Jisc to deliver a sustainable and growing Jisc research offer supported by diverse revenue streams and partnerships. Her role involves senior engagement across Jisc, and with research and professional leaders in the UK and internationally. She is also co-investigator and deputy director of the UK Data Service. Victoria brings expertise in research management and impact, research data management, developing open data resources and information access rights in the public sector, and also public and voluntary sector policy development.
Ben Bleasdale, PhD
Senior Policy & Advocacy Advisor | Wellcome Trust, UK
Ben is a Senior Policy and Advocacy Adviser at the Wellcome Trust. His role involves monitoring and influencing the factors which support good science – from Government investment to research culture. He is part of the cross-Wellcome team behind the #ReimagineResearch initiative, which commits the Wellcome Trust to use its role as a funder to improve the working culture of research.
Sam Parsons, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate | University of Oxford, UK
Dr Sam Parsons is a postdoctoral research associate in the Oxford Centre for Emotions and Affective Neuroscience with Professor Elaine Fox. Sam is engaged in a number of open and reproducible research related activities. He helped create the ReproducibiliTea Journal Club in Oxford Experimental Psychology branch. He now also co-directs ReproducibiliTea global, and co-hosts the ReproducibiliTea podcast. Sam is also on the Experimental Psychology Open Science Committee in Oxford University, and part of the Steering Committee for a Framework for Open and Reproducible Research Training (FORRT). One of FORRT’s goals is to curate open teaching materials and their pedagogies to support teachers wishing to incorporate open and reproducible research into their courses, as well as advocating for wide recognition and appreciation of those sharing their teaching materials.
PhD Student | METRIC-Berlin, Germany
Sophia is a first-year PhD student at the meta-research innovation centre in Berlin (METRIC-Berlin). Her academic background is in psychology and philosophy — she studied philosophy and natural sciences (psychology) at the University of Cambridge, and did a Master’s at the University of Amsterdam, majoring in psychological methods and statistics and minoring in logic. Her PhD work is based in metascience, and her current research interests include questionable research practices and academic incentive structures. Sophia is passionate about truly open and reproducible science — her major outlet for this is the global ReproducibiliTea initiative, which she co-founded and co-directs.
About the talk
To finish the conference, we were joined by an esteemed panel of discussants who have tried to exert positive change through a variety of initiatives. The panel is made up of Lara Speicher, Victoria Moody, Ben Bleasdale, James Parry, Sam Parsons, and Sophia Crüwell.