Laptop with Reliable Research in Business website displayed

UF Warrington creates initiative promoting robust and reliable research

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Across the world of research, a storm has been brewing. A storm that intends to wash away the layers of questionable research practices and produces a rumble so loud that researchers across the world will tremble at the thought of bias in their study results. A storm brought on by ‘data thugs’ and ‘p-hacking’ detectives to strike out studies that fail to replicate.

In research, replicability refers to the ability to duplicate the results of a prior study if the same procedures are followed but different data from the original study is collected. Replicability has been a growing issue among researchers in the Science of Organizations, as well as other social, behavioral and economic sciences.

As the research community faces the challenge of promoting replicable and reliable research, the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida is looking to provide a solution and brighten up the field of research with a standardized approach to research activities.

Chester C. Holloway Professor of Management Dr. Gwendolyn Lee created Reliable Research in Business, an initiative that aims to address the challenges associated with promoting reliable, robust, replicable, reproducible, generalizable and rigorously peer reviewed research across the Science of Organizations and other social, behavioral and economic sciences by providing a standardized, educational approach and training to research activities.

“This project seeks to create a collection of educational materials on best practices [for scientific research],” Lee said. “We’ve created an organized ‘digital reader’ of information from academic journal editors, university faculty members, academic researchers, industry leaders and students on how to create robust and reliable research.”

Gwen Lee with the Robust and Reliable Research Practice Seminar sign

Chester C. Holloway Professor of Management and Reliable Research in Business creator Dr. Gwen Lee at the Promoting Robust and Reliable Research Practice Workshop.

With support from a $50,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Lee hosted a workshop at the University of Florida March 8-10, 2018, bringing together journal editors, academics and industry leaders from across the world to present their best practices for promoting robust and reliable research. The presentations were recorded and are now available for viewing. Researchers, academics and the public can access the videos and supplemental materials from each presenter for free at Reliable Research in Business.

The workshop’s keynote address was presented by Dr. Joseph Simmons, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. His keynote address titled “Life after p-hacking,” discusses the concern among researchers about the publication of false-positive, “p-hacked” results, and the methodological changes researchers can make in order to find solutions to publication bias.

Other presenters include editors from academic journals including Academy of Management Discovery, Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management, Management Science, Organization Science, Organizational Research Methods, Personal Psychology, Strategic Management Journal and Strategy Science, as well as professors of management, psychology and entrepreneurship from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, the University of Minnesota and the University of Maryland.

In addition to professionals from the workshop, other individuals from top research journals, industry thought leaders and faculty members from research institutions across the world have submitted videos that are featured on the website discussing their recommendations for best practices when creating and disseminating research.

For Lee, the presentations from the workshop and those initially submitted by other researchers are just the beginning.

“We will continue producing videos for the website and add the insights of additional experts outside of business schools,” Lee said.

To learn more about this initiative and how to produce reliable research in business, please visit Reliable Research in Business.