Editorials

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  • Description, prediction and explanation are all important in science. We welcome descriptive, predictive and explanatory studies, so long as the work is clear about its aims and uses appropriate methods to achieve its goals.

    Editorial
  • Code is at the heart of computational social and behavioural science. To increase code reliability and reproducibility, we are implementing formal peer review of the code behind computational models whenever they are essential to the research we publish. We ask our authors to prepare and store their code with readability, transparency and future replicability in mind.

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  • Authors can appeal editorial decisions, and editors will always consider each appeal carefully. However, not all appeals are successful. Under what circumstances is appealing an editorial decision likely to reverse the outcome, and what are the features of a strong appeal?

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  • Titles are the first, and often the only, part of your paper that others will read. That’s why they matter so much, and here’s some practical advice on how to write them.

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  • Science is a cumulative enterprise, and systematic evidence synthesis is invaluable for appraising what is known and what is not known on a specific research question. We strongly encourage the submission of systematic reviews and meta-analyses to Nature Human Behaviour.

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  • COVID-19 has forced a rethink of many practices we previously took for granted, and academic travel is no exception. Virtual conferences have demonstrated their promise for encouraging a more equitable and environmentally friendly future.

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  • Before accepting research manuscripts for publication, we ask authors to refrain from making priority or novelty claims and to remove qualitative evaluations of their own work. Both policies are intended to increase the accuracy and credibility of research we publish.

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  • The COVID-19 pandemic rendered 2020 a year like no other in recent history. Although 2021 starts hopeful—with COVID-19 vaccines already being rolled out in more than 30 countries—the fight against the pandemic is far from over.

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  • In cases of direct replications or direct critiques of earlier work, feedback from the original authors can have an important role to play in the evaluation process, but such feedback is by definition not impartial. Our signed comments policy allows such feedback to be incorporated in the consideration process, without impacting the objectivity of peer review and editorial evaluation.

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  • This issue features four replication studies. Regardless of their outcome, these studies demonstrate that rigorous replication efforts invariably succeed at improving our state of knowledge and moving fields forward.

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  • Insight into human behaviour is key to understanding both the systemic causes of the COVID-19 pandemic and how we can act to mitigate its impacts. Both now and in its wake, we have the capacity to shape and reshape the world we live in.

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  • There is no business-as-usual during this uniquely challenging time. Here is what we are doing to help the scientific community both in providing much needed evidence to guide policy and in managing the personal impacts of the pandemic on individual researchers.

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  • Over the past decades, the availability of new methods and digitization has dramatically changed how scientific data are recorded, stored and analysed. This has enabled researchers to pull together the data underlying single research efforts into larger standardized datasets for reuse. The publication of these datasets - in the Resource format in our pages - represents a contribution of exceptional value to the scientific community.

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  • Behavioural interventions can improve choices across many domains, but we must remember that they are not universally effective.

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  • Every research paper tells a story, but the pressure to provide ‘clean’ narratives is harmful for the scientific endeavour.

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  • From December 2019, authors of research articles submitted to Nature Human Behaviour will have the option to publish the full peer-review records of their manuscripts, including reviewer comments, editorial decision letters and their own responses to reviewer and editorial comments.

    Editorial
  • Journals differ in how they evaluate submissions, depending on their aims and scope. Here we share how the Nature Human Behaviour editorial team evaluates research manuscripts submitted to the journal.

    Editorial
  • Publications are commonly used to evaluate PhD students’ aptitude and have the appeal of a single, ‘objective’ measure. A collection of World Views in this issue, however, suggests that this creates only an illusion of true meritocracy. Not only assessments but PhD training per se require substantive improvements to benefit science and scientists.

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  • Science denialism causes greater harm when left unchallenged. An article in this issue provides evidence for effective rebuttal strategies.

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