Feasibility of an audit and feedback intervention to facilitate journal policy change towards greater promotion of transparency and openness in sports science research

Harrison J. Hansford, Aidan G. Cashin, Matthew K. Bagg, Michael A. Wewege, Michael C. Ferraro, Sina Kianersi, Evan Mayo-Wilson, Sean P. Grant, Elaine Toomey, Ian W. Skinner, James H. McAuley, Hopin Lee, Matthew D. Jones

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Abstract

Objectives: To evaluate (1) the feasibility of an audit-feedback intervention to facilitate sports science journal policy change, (2) the reliability of the Transparency of Research Underpinning Social Intervention Tiers (TRUST) policy evaluation form, and (3) the extent to which policies of sports science journals support transparent and open research practices. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional, audit-feedback, feasibility study of transparency and openness standards of the top 38 sports science journals by impact factor. The TRUST form was used to evaluate journal policies support for transparent and open research practices. Feedback was provided to journal editors in the format of a tailored letter. Inter-rater reliability and agreement of the TRUST form was assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients and the standard error of measurement, respectively. Time-based criteria, fidelity of intervention delivery and qualitative feedback were used to determine feasibility. Results: The audit-feedback intervention was feasible based on the time taken to rate journals and provide tailored feedback. The mean (SD) score on the TRUST form (range 0–27) was 2.05 (1.99), reflecting low engagement with transparent and open practices. Inter-rater reliability of the overall score of the TRUST form was moderate [ICC (2,1) = 0.68 (95% CI 0.55–0.79)], with standard error of measurement of 1.17. However, some individual items had poor reliability. Conclusion: Policies of the top 38 sports science journals have potential for improved support for transparent and open research practices. The feasible audit-feedback intervention developed here warrants large-scale evaluation as a means to facilitate change in journal policies. Registration: OSF (https://osf.io/d2t4s/).
Original languageEnglish
Article number101
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalSports Medicine - Open
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 06 Aug 2022

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