The Transparency and Openness Promotion Guidelines are a community-driven effort to align scientific ideals with practices.

Transparency, open sharing, and reproducibility are core values of science, but not always part of daily practice. Journals, funders, and scholarly societies can increase reproducibility of research by adopting the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines and helping them evolve to meet the needs of researchers and publishers while pursuing the most transparent practices.


Published in Science in 2015, the TOP guidelines include eight modular standards, each with three levels of increasing stringency. Journals select which of the eight transparency standards they wish to adopt for their journal, and select a level of implementation for each standard. These features provide flexibility for adoption depending on disciplinary variation, but simultaneously establish community standards.


Resources


Become a Signatory

Over 2,900 journals and organizations have already become signatories of the TOP Guidelines. Show your support of the principles behind the standards by becoming a signatory today. We'll reach out and help to implement the standards that are most appropriate to the work that you fund or publish.


For inquiries, please contact David Mellor or email top@cos.io.
Level 0 Level I Level II Level III
Citation Standards Journal encourages citation of data, code, and materials, or says nothing. Journal describes citation of data in guidelines to authors with clear rules and examples. Article provides appropriate citation for data and materials used consistent with journal's author guidelines. Article is not published until providing appropriate citation for data and materials following journal's author guidelines.
Data Transparency Journal encourages data sharing, or says nothing. Article states whether data are available, and, if so, where to access them. Data must be posted to a trusted repository. Exceptions must be identified at article submission. Data must be posted to a trusted repository, and reported analyses will be reproduced independently prior to publication.
Analytic Methods (Code) Transparency Journal encourages code sharing, or says nothing. Article states whether code is available, and, if so, where to access it. Code must be posted to a trusted repository. Exceptions must be identified at article submission. Code must be posted to a trusted repository, and reported analyses will be reproduced independently prior to publication.
Research Materials Transparency Journal encourages materials sharing, or says nothing. Article states whether materials are available, and, if so, where to access them. Materials must be posted to a trusted repository. Exceptions must be identified at article submission. Materials must be posted to a trusted repository, and reported analyses will be reproduced independently prior to publication.
Design and Analysis Transparency Journal encourages design and analysis transparency, or says nothing. Journal articulates design transparency standards. Journal requires adherence to design transparency standards for review and publication. Journal requires and enforces adherence to design transparency standards for review and publication.
Study Preregistration Journal says nothing. Article states whether preregistration of study exists, and, if so, where to access it. Article states whether preregistration of study exists, and, if so, allows journal access during peer review for verification. Journal requires preregistration of studies and provides link and badge in article to meeting requirements.
Analysis Plan Preregistration Journal says nothing. Article states whether preregistration of study exists, and, if so, where to access it. Article states whether preregistration with analysis plan exists, and, if so, allows journal access during peer review for verification. Journal requires preregistration of studies with analysis plans and provides link and badge in article to meeting requirements.
Replication Journal discourages submission of replication studies, or says nothing. Journal encourages submission of replication studies. Journal encourages submission of replication studies and conducts results blind review. Journal uses Registered Reports as a submission option for replication studies with peer review prior to observing the study outcomes.

Read the complete TOP Guidelines PDF or wiki

Implementing the TOP Guidelines

  • Compare your current author or grantee guidelines to the three levels of each of the eight standards in the TOP Guidelines. Email top@cos.io for support or feedback on this evaluation.
  • Review the language on these sample implementations for journals or funding agencies.
  • Determine which standards you wish to improve on and discuss the changes that would be required to implement Level I, II, or III for each standard.
  • Update your journal policies and practices and plan a strategy to implement. Consider using a piloting period, special issue, special RFP, or apply the standards to all incoming articles.
  • Consider making an announcement about your implementation through an editorial, blog post, or other outreach.

TOP Implementors

The following journals have made concrete steps toward implementing one or more of the standards listed in the TOP Guidelines.


Resources

  • Use this checklist when developing your own implementation.
  • See the variety of sample implementations for funders and journals.
  • See this resources page for more reporting guidelines, data disclosure statements, and other relevant resources. 
  • Read the complete TOP Guidelines PDF or wiki.
  • Fill out this form if you want us to send you a customized set of TOP standards at the levels you want to implement.

    Over 2,900 journals and organizations have become signatories to the TOP Guidelines. 

    Journal signatories are expressing their support of the principles of openness, transparency, and reproducibility, expressing interest in the guidelines and commit to conducting a review within a year of the standards and levels of adoption.

    Organization signatories are expressing their support of the principles of openness, transparency, and reproducibility and encouraging associated journals to conduct a review of the standards and levels of adoption.

    See Springer Nature's recent statement about the TOP Guidelines. 



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Journal Title Publisher Society/Association Affiliation Subject Area