Transparency Guidelines

Personality Science (PS) takes good, transparent, reproducible, and open science very seriously. This means that all published papers will have underwent screening regarding to what extent they have fulfilled Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines. The TOP Guidelines outline eight modular standards that can be implemented at three different tiers (with Tier 1 being the least, and Tier 3 the most rigorous option). PS is committed to following Tiers 2 and 3 of the TOP modules (see the summary table below) and thus currently scores a "24" on the TOP factor at (so that PS is among the top journals enforcing open and rigorous science).
Modular Standard Implementation in PS Level I Level II Level III
Citation Standard Article is not published until providing appropriate citation for data and materials following journal's author guidelines.    
Data Transparency Data must be posted to a trusted repository.
Exceptions must be identified at article submission.
Analytical Methods Transparency Code must be posted to a trusted repository.
Exceptions must be identified at article submission.
Research Materials Transparency Materials must be posted to a trusted repository.
Exceptions must be identified at article submission.
Design and Analysis Transparency Journal requires and enforces adherence to design transparency standards for review and publication.    
Pre-registration of Studies Article states whether pre-registration of study exists, and, if so, allows journal access during peer review for verification.    
Pre-registration of Analysis Plans Article states whether pre-registration with analysis plan exists, and, if so, allows journal access during peer review for verification.    
Replication Journal uses Registered Reports1 as a submission option for replication studies with peer review prior to observing the study outcomes.    

1. PS encourages the submission of Registered Reports not just for replication studies.

The guidelines summarized above concern any paper published in PS that presents empirical data (whether quantitive or qualitative). Data, code, materials, and other documents will be safely and openly stored at the PsychArchives repository (for more details, see Author Guidelines). Upon submission of a paper, authors will have to confirm that they have included appropriate statements (e.g., about the availability of data, code, materials, other documents, pre-registrations) within their papers, and all papers will be checked regarding their adherence to the journal's adopted TOP standards outlined above. Authors should thus take great care to ensure that their papers meet those standards.
Papers that do not meet the standards cannot be published in PS.

For papers reporting on data and empirical analyses, any supplements (materials, data, scripts, code, syntax, documents, etc.) need to be self-explanatory, useful, and well organized. Specifically, the journal requires all of those files to conform to the FAIR system – they should be findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (see Author Guidelines). It is not just necessary or desirable to share information, but that information must also be understandable, helpful, and usable for others to also be able work with them (e.g., in reproducing the findings). Thus, the Supplements & Badges template form also serves as a sort of master-document listing all supplements files and descriptions (e.g., what they represent, their contexts, and their intended/expected usage). The files can be initially stored at any repository, but after acceptence, they will be made openly accessible at PsychArchives that permanently stores them, links them to the paper, provides them with a persistent identifier (DOI), enriches them with meta-data (for better searchability), enforces quality control by strict user guidelines, and grants the integration with other free-to-use ZPID products.


Implementation Guidelines for Authors

1. Citation Standards
All data, code, scripts, syntax, materials, methods, or any other documents should be appropriately cited. They should be recognized as original intellectual contributions and afforded recognition through citation. Articles will not be published until the citations conform to these standards.
  1. All data sets and program code (e.g., from R scripts) used in a publication should be cited in the text and listed in the reference section (like any other reference would).
  2. References for data sets and program code should (if available) include a persistent identifier, such as a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). Persistent identifiers ensure future access to unique published digital objects, such as a text or data set. Persistent identifiers are assigned to data sets by digital archives, such as institutional repositories and partners in the Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences (Data-PASS).
2., 3. and 4. Data, Code, and Materials Transparency
The policy of PS is to publish papers only if the data are clearly and precisely documented and are maximally available to any researcher for purposes of reproducing the results or replicating the procedure.
  1. Authors reusing data available from public repositories must provide program code, scripts for statistical packages, and other documentation sufficient to allow an informed researcher to precisely reproduce all published results. This should be done even if the reused data itself may not be shared.
  2. Authors using their own, original data must: 
    1. make the data available at a trusted digital repository such as PsychArchives (Note: If all data required to reproduce the reported analyses appears in the article text, tables, and figures, then it does not also need to be posted to a repository.)
    2. include all variables, treatment conditions, and observations described in the manuscript
    3. provide a full account of the procedures used to collect, pre-process, clean, or generate the data
  3. In rare cases, despite authors’ best efforts, some or all data cannot be shared for legal or ethical reasons. In such cases, authors must inform the editors at the time of submission. This will be taken into account during the review process. Authors are encouraged to anticipate data sharing at the beginning of their projects to provide for these circumstances. It is understood that in some cases access will be provided under restrictions to protect confidential or proprietary information. Editors may grant exceptions to data and material access requirements provided authors:
    1. explain the restrictions on the data set and how they preclude public access.
    2. provide a public description of the steps others should follow to request access to the data.
    3. provide access to all data for which the constraints do not apply.
  4. Data should be made available through PsychArchives, a trusted repository. It adheres to policies that make data discoverable, accessible, usable, and preserved for the long term. It also assigns unique and persistent identifiers. For example, such services are also offered by partners in the Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences (Data-PASS) and most institutional repositories. However, author maintained websites are not compliant with this requirement.
    1. Dissemination of these data may be delayed until publication. Under exceptional circumstances, editors may grant an embargo of the public release of data for at most one year after publication.
    2. Articles accepted for publication will not be assigned a publication date until the above conditions have been met. Authors are responsible for ensuring that their articles continue to meet these conditions. Failure to do so may lead to an editorial expression of concern or retraction of the article.
5. Design Transparency

The policy of PS is to publish papers where authors follow standards for disclosing key aspects of the research design and data analysis. Authors are required to review the standards available for many research applications (see the APA Reporting Standards) and use those that are relevant for the reported research applications. At manuscript submission, authors must confirm that they reviewed the standards, report whether any standards were relevant for the research application, and confirm that they followed those standards in the manuscript. The journal, or an entity acting on behalf of the journal, will verify that the appropriate standards were adopted and followed. Failure to follow the relevant standards may result in the paper not being published.

6. and 7. Study and Analysis Pre-registration
The policy of PS is to publish papers where authors indicate whether or not the conducted research was pre-registered with an analysis plan in an independent, institutional registry (e.g., PsychArchives,,,, PS strongly recommends using PsychArchives as its official pre-registration registry, which will soon host the dedicated PreReg tool. Pre-registration of studies involves registering the study design, variables, and treatment conditions. Including an analysis plan involves specification of sequence of analyses or the statistical model that will be reported. A link to the frozen pre-registration at a registry must be made available to the journal prior to publication. The journal, or an entity acting on behalf of the journal, will verify that pre-registration adheres to the specifications for pre-registration and then provide certification of the pre-registration in the article.
  1. Authors must indicate if they did or did not pre-register the research with or without an analysis plan in an independent, institutional registry.
  2. If an author did pre-register the research with an analysis plan, the author must: 
    1. confirm that the study was registered prior to conducting the research with links to the time-stamped pre-registration at the institutional registry, and that the pre-registration adheres to the disclosure requirements of the institutional registry or those required for the pre-registered badge with analysis plans maintained by the Center for Open Science.
    2. Report all pre-registered analyses in the paper, or, if there were changes in the analysis plan following pre-registration, those changes must be disclosed with explanation for the changes.
    3. Clearly distinguish in the paper between analyses that were pre-registered from those that were not, such as having separate sections in the results for confirmatory and exploratory analyses.
8. Replication (and Registered Reports)
The policy of PS is to encourage the submission of replication studies, particularly of research published in this journal. PS also recommends submitting replication attempts as Registered Reports or at least as a pre-registered study. In such cases, replication studies are reviewed in two stages following the Registered Reports format (see also information from the Center for Open Science on this format here). Specifically, the first stage of review is conducted prior to any data being collected or, for existing data sets, before the data have been analyzed and outcomes observed.
  1. On initial submission, authors should:
    1. Denote that the manuscript is a Registered Report submission and confirm that the data do not exist, or that the outcomes have not been observed yet.
    2. Include a full manuscript for the abstract, introduction, and methods without the results and discussion sections.
    3. The methods must contain a complete analysis plan of what is to be included in the full article.
  2. If the submission passes initial review, then the authors will receive an in-principle acceptance prior to data collection or analysis of the outcomes.
  3. The study protocol and/or analysis plan (as well as the draft of the Registered Report proposal) need to be pre-registered at PsychArchives.
  4. For the second stage of review, authors submit a complete manuscript. Reviewers assess the extent to which the authors followed the pre-registered design and/or analysis plan, and evaluate non-outcome relevant criteria (e.g., manipulation checks) to confirm whether the research was an effective test of the research question.


Openness and Transparency on Published Papers

In the interest of transparency and openness, papers published in PS will contain (among others) following information:
  • author names and details (including contributorship roles according to the CRediT System)
  • special information on the paper (i.e., category, type, invited, part of paper collection)
  • abstract(s) and keywords (perhaps both even in an optional second language)
  • key insights; relevance statement; plain-language summary (optional)
  • URLs to supplements on PsychArchives; Open Science badges
  • handling editor name; total number of review rounds and reviewers; reviewer names (if opted in); available pre-publication peer-reviews (if opted in) as supplements
  • statements on funding, competing interests, other manuscript versions, ethics, acknowledgements, and other issues
  • basic history (e.g., date of submission and acceptance)
These pieces of information will be extracted by the editorial and PsychOpen staff from information the submitting authors provide (on the official PS Paper, Contributorship, Statements, and Supplements & Badges Templates) and internal-only information (i.e., from the AIF, OJS, and Review Information Template compiled by journal staff).