Improving Transparency, Falsifiability, and Rigor by Making Hypothesis Tests Machine-Readable


Making scientific information machine-readable greatly facilitates its reuse. Many scientific articles have the goal to test a hypothesis, so making the tests of statistical predictions easier to find and access could be very beneficial. We propose an approach that can be used to make hypothesis tests machine-readable. We believe there are two benefits to specifying a hypothesis test in such a way that a computer can evaluate whether the statistical prediction is corroborated or not. First, hypothesis tests become more transparent, falsifiable, and rigorous. Second, scientists benefit if information related to hypothesis tests in scientific articles is easily findable and reusable, for example, to perform meta-analyses, conduct peer review, and examine metascientific research questions. We examine what a machine-readable hypothesis test should look like and demonstrate the feasibility of machine-readable hypothesis tests in a real-life example using the fully operational prototype R package scienceverse.

Lakens, D., & DeBruine, L. M. (2021). Improving Transparency, Falsifiability, and Rigor by Making Hypothesis Tests Machine-Readable. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science.
Lisa DeBruine
Lisa DeBruine
Professor of Psychology

Lisa DeBruine is a professor of psychology at the University of Glasgow. Her substantive research is on the social perception of faces and kinship. Her meta-science interests include team science (especially the Psychological Science Accelerator), open documentation, data simulation, web-based tools for data collection and stimulus generation, and teaching computational reproducibility.