University of Melbourne
Co-Authors: Fiona Fidler, Hannah Fraser, Libby Rumpff
Questionable Research Practices in non-hypothesis testing research: ecological models for conservation decision-making
Recent metaresearch studying the prevalence, types, causes and solutions to Questionable Research Practices (QRPs) has almost exclusively focussed on frequentist hypothesis-testing. However, within Conservation Science, modellers routinely conduct non-hypothesis testing research; building models that generate anticipatory predictions to guide policy and decision makers in managing threatened ecosystems and species. We expand the scope of current QRP work by proposing a conceptual framework for defining and understanding the emergence of QRPs within model-centric research. We surveyed the literature to construct ‘roadmaps’ identifying the type and location of plausible QRPs within the model development process. There are many opportunities for undisclosed researcher degrees of freedom in ecological modelling. While there are direct analogues between NHST and non-NHST research, there are domain and context-specific nuances that influence the emergence of QRPs in model-centric research.