Still under revision by the RRI Tools project
Tool Guideline

Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines

Uploaded by David Mellor on 01 November 2015

Center for Open Science (COS)

The Guidelines for Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) in Journal Policies and Practices provide standards that reward researchers for engaging in open practices, describe what openness means across the scientific process so that research can be reproduced and evaluated, and address the values of preregistration.

The guidelines discuss eight categories of transparency standards:

  • citation standards
  • data transparency
  • analytic methods (code) transparency
  • research materials transparency
  • design and analysis transparency
  • preregistration of studies
  • preregistration of analysis plans
  • replication

In addition, each category has three levels of transparency (from milder to stronger standards), allowing adopting journals to select a transparency level that what works best for authors and researchers.

National, International, Local, Regional, Global
Transparency, Openness
The guidelines are modular so they can be adopted singly or collectively. Template text is provided for each transparency level in each category, and the appendix provides a full-text template for each level.
Sara Bowman
The TOP website offers several user-friendly versions of the guidelines, and the clarity and accessibility of both the guidelines and the website make it easy for users to take action. In addition, the TOP Guidelines Summary table, available on the website, provides an accessible overview of the three transparency levels as well as a comparison of common journal policies that do not meet these standards.

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