An interview with Ben Brown, Guest Editor of the PLOS ONE-COS Cognitive Psychology Collection – EveryONE – PLOS

PLOS ONE, in collaboration with the Center for Open Science, recently launched a Cognitive Psychology Collection. It includes submissions to a Call for Papers in cognitive developmental psychology across the lifespan, with an emphasis on open science—transparent reporting practices such as pre-registration or iterative registration; data, code, and material sharing; and preprint posting. 

Ben Brown was one of three Guest Editors for this project, along with Nivedita Mani and Ramesh Kumar Mishra. Ben is Associate Professor of Psychology at Georgia Gwinnett College in Georgia, USA. Ben’s research interests are in developmental psychology: he has worked on autobiographical memory in populations, for instance in populations with autism spectrum disorder, and on children’s susceptibility to suggestion. 

Benjamin Brown, Guest Editor for the Cognitive Psychology Collection

Ben also has a long-standing interest in open science and the reproducibility and replicability of psychology research: he is a founding member of PsyArXiv, the preprint repository for the psychological sciences hosted by COS, and is a Senior Editor at Collabra: Psychology, the open-access journal of the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Sciences. 

I asked Ben about his editorial experience for this collection and his advocacy for open science more broadly.

Can you tell us about your interest in open science, what drew you to it and how that affects your own research?

My interest in scientific rigor and transparency began during my graduate training. During this time, I struggled to replicate well-known and highly regarded findings and found myself frustrated with the lack of transparent reporting in psychological research. As a result, I was eager for opportunities to contribute to improving psychological science.

When I learned of community efforts to address these same challenges I had faced in my own work, I happily and without reservation got involved. In doing so, I found a strong sense of camaraderie with other psychologists working on the issues that I felt so isolated grappling with in graduate school.

Preregistrations, including any modifications, help reviewers contextualize results and consider matters such as researchers’ degrees of freedom. I honestly would find it difficult to go back to a more traditional editorial experience.

Ben Brown, PLOS ONE Guest Editor

Throughout my involvement in the open science movement, I …….


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