According to the Higher Education Leadership Initiative for Open Scholarship (HELIOS), open scholarship is defined as:
Open scholarship (sometimes called “open science” or “open research”) is an expansive term meant to encompass the rapid and widespread sharing of a range of scholarly activities and outputs, across disciplines. Open scholarship promotes inclusivity, transparent and trustworthy research, innovation, and collaboration.
Practicing open scholarship helps ensure transparency in research.
Admittedly, opening up one's data to the word can be a bit unnerving, which is why Dr. Gernsbacher (2018a) recommends engaging in a data checking swap with colleagues, who are not involved in that particular study, to determine whether they can replicate your results. It's true that some data should not be made public, however, low risk data that could benefit others, but is otherwise difficult or cumbersome to acquire, should be made open in the spirit of the global scholarly conversation and a broader dissemination of knowledge to the public and other researchers. You may wait to make your data publicly available until your article is published.
Research transparency can be achieved by pre-registering studies and other types of qualitative or quantitative research through specification of "the study's motivation, hypothesis, method, materials, sample, and analysis plan... basically specifying everything except the results and the discussion of the results before the study is completed" (Gernsbacher, 2018a). Research transparency can also refer to providing open access to supporting research materials.
Pre-registration creates a permanent research plan that is date- and time-stamped which can be pointed to in order to prove to yourself, and to everyone else, that you actually tested a relationship that you had predicted (Gernsbacher, 2018a). Pre-registration increases the credibility of your research by guarding against HARKing (Hypothesizing After the Results are Known; Kerr, 1987) and fishing, or p-Hacking (i.e., selectively reporting analyses within a study to garner statistically significant results; Simonsohn, Nelson, & Simmons, 2014, p. 670). You may choose to make your pre-registration private until after publication.
Before you pre-register, use the Transparency Tools on this page to make sure you are doing it right the first time around! PROSPERO requires a PRISMA checklist when pre-registering systematic reviews.
There are many ways that you can make your research transparent. Pre-registering is just one way that you can make your research transparent. Additionally, open scholarship helps ensure that research is transparent. You can also register for an OrcID, which is a persistent identifer that ensure your research is correctly attributed to you.