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If Journals Embraced Conditional Equivalence Testing, Would Research be Better?

Thursday, June 20, 2019 - 12:30 to 15:00
Harlan Campbell, UBC Statistics Ph.D. student
Thesis Defence
Room 203 of the Graduate Student Centre (6371 Crescent Road)

Motivated by recent concerns with the reproducibility and reliability of scientific research, we introduce a publication policy that incorporates “conditional equivalence testing” (CET), a two-stage testing scheme that combines standard null hypothesis significance testing and equivalence testing. We explain how such a policy could address issues of publication bias. We then develop a model that, given current incentives to publish, predicts a researcher’s most rational use of resources. Using this model, we are able to determine whether a given policy, such as our CET policy, can incentivize more reliable and reproducible research. We conclude that novel publication policies, such as the RR policy and our proposed CET policy, have the potential to better align scientists’ incentives with the goal of publishing reliable science.