Use of publication procedures to improve research integrity by addiction journals.
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BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The credibility crisis evident in many academic disciplines has led peer-reviewed journals to implement procedures to reduce use of flexible data analysis practices and selective reporting of results. This exploratory study examined the adoption of six of these procedures by addiction journals. METHODS: Thirty-eight high-impact addiction journals were identified using the 2018 Clarivate Analytics Journal Citation Report for 2017 ranks. The online instructions for authors were reviewed for references to six publication procedures: conflict of interest disclosure, reporting guidelines, clinical trial registration, registration of other study designs, data-sharing and registered reports. The webpages of the Center for Open Science and Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) were also reviewed for data pertaining to registered reports and reporting guidelines, respectively. RESULTS: The range of procedures adopted by the addiction journals was 0-5, with a mean of 2.66. Conflict-of-interest disclosure was required by all but one journal. Encouraging data-sharing was the next most commonly required procedure. Fewer than half the journals recommended specific reporting guidelines or required registration of clinical trials, and only four required procedures to pre-specify hypotheses and analytical methods. CONCLUSIONS: While many addiction journals have adopted publication procedures to improve research integrity, these can be limited by their voluntary nature and monitoring difficulties. More stringent requirements that lock researchers into specific hypotheses and analyses have not been widely adopted.
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