Starting in 2014, authors of accepted manuscripts are eligible to earn up to three badges in recognition of open scientific practices. These include an Open Data badge, an Open Materials badge, and a Preregistered badge.
A full list of the authors that have been awarded badges can be found on our Open Practices Acknowledgments page.
To apply for one or more of these badges acknowledging open practices, authors must provide the information requested in the Open Practices Disclosure form, which is sent to all authors of accepted manuscripts. Unless the authors decide not to apply for badges, the form will be published with the article as supplemental online material.
Badge icons will be displayed at the beginning of the article, and information related to open practices will be published in a note titled “Open Practices” that will appear at the end of the article. Badges are awarded following the disclosure method, in which authors provide public statements affirming achievement of badge criteria.
Authors must be able to provide the following in order to qualify for each badge:
Open Data Badge
- A URL, doi, or other permanent path for accessing the data in a public, open-access repository
- Sufficient information for an independent researcher to reproduce the reported results
Open Materials Badge
- A URL, doi, or other permanent path for accessing the materials in a public, open-access repository
- Sufficient information for an independent researcher to reproduce the reported methodology
- URL, doi, or other permanent path to the registration in a public, open-access repository
- An analysis plan registered prior to examination of the data or observing the outcomes
- Any additional registrations for the study other than the one reported
- Any changes to the preregistered analysis plan for the primary confirmatory analysis
- All of the analyses described in the registered plan reported in the article
*Authors who have additional unreported registrations or unreported analyses without strong justification (as determined by the editor in chief) will not qualify for a badge.
If the analysis plan was registered prior to observation of outcomes, the Open Practices note will include the notation DE (Data Exist).
If there were strongly justified changes to an analysis plan, the Open Practices note will include the notation TC (Transparent Changes).
Data, materials, and analysis plans must be permanent, time-stamped, and uneditable. Qualifying public, open-access repositories are committed to preserving data, materials, and/or registered analysis plans and keeping them publicly accessible via the web into perpetuity. Examples include the Open Science Framework (OSF) and the various Dataverse networks. Hundreds of other qualifying data/materials repositories are listed at re3data.org. Preregistration of an analysis plan must take place via a publicly accessible registry system (e.g., OSF, ClinicalTrials.gov, or other trial registries in the WHO Registry Network, institutional registration systems). Personal websites and most departmental websites do not qualify as repositories.
There are, of course, circumstances in which it is not possible or advisable to share data, materials, or a research plan publicly. For example, there are cases in which sharing participant data could violate confidentiality. In these cases, the authors may provide an explanation of such circumstances in the Alternative Note section of the disclosure form. The information the authors provide will be included in the article’s Open Practices note.