Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Commentary | Open Access

Remembering Reasons for Reform: A More Replicable and Reproducible Communication Literature Without the Rancor

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Abstract:  Increasing awareness of the “replication crisis” has prompted discussion about replicability and reproducibility in social and behavioral science research, including in communication. As with other fields, communication has seen discussion about concerns with the interpretation of existing research. One response has been the piecemeal adoption of “open science” practices in communication to reduce selectivity in analysis, reporting, and publication of research. Calls for further adoption of such practices have, in turn, been met with criticisms and concerns about the negative consequences of their adoption. Amidst disparate perspectives regarding solutions to replicability and reproducibility issues in communication science, difficulties building consensus and caution about negative outcomes are understandable, but they also present the risk of a status quo bias that could stall the improvement of the replicability and reproducibility of communication research. The urgency of the replication crisis for communication and the cost of inaction are presented here along three exemplifying dimensions perhaps of particular importance in communication research: (a) responsibility to the public, (b) stewardship of resources, and (c) membership in a community of scholars. While debate over solutions will continue, we would do well to keep in mind that problems with replicability and reproducibility in communication research are indeed a crisis needing immediate attention.

Keywords:  communication; open science; replicability; reproducibility; science reform



© James D. Ivory. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.