Call for Special Issue papers: Direct and Conceptual Replication in Numerical Cognition

To be Edited by: Mojtaba Soltanlou, Krzysztof Cipora

The replication crisis is an ongoing critical topic in life science including psychology. The inability to replicate studies has serious consequences. For instance, theories can be grounded in unreproducible experimental work. In order to support evidence-based educational and therapeutic interventions, and strengthen the bridge between basic and applied science, the main aim of this special issue is to shed light on the robustness of the findings in the field of numerical cognition.

In this special issue, we will concentrate on direct and conceptual replications specifically in the field of numerical cognition and mathematics learning. While direct replications provide evidence of the robustnessof an effect itself conceptual replications play a crucial role in theory development, as they verify that a certain observation is not solely dependent on the specific experimental setup. Both direct and conceptual replications, including online studies and studies conducted in understudied cultures, with no restriction to any particular method or any particular age during life course development would be relevant. Authors may also consider multi-experiment studies combining direct and conceptual replications to take advantage of both approaches. We welcome regular papers as well as Registered Replication Reports from either single or multiple labs for this special issue. Authors should explicitly discuss their findings in terms of direct versus conceptual replications.


The main aim of this special issue is replication of the existing studies in the field of numerical cognition. The papers are encouraged to focus on brevity in the introductions and discussions in respect to the motivation and justification for the replication and the impact of the original work being replicated. They can be more like data reports with a brief explanation of hypothesis and take-home message. The authors are encouraged to provide a table or a figure, which compares the results of the original study with the current replication study. Sharing experimental materials and annotated, anonymized data, and analysis protocols/scripts will be mandatory to increase scientific transparencyand allow for ease of future use by other researchers. Lastly, the authors/co-authorsof the original replicated papers will be invited to publish a short commentary (maximum 1000 words). Note that this is a discrete one-time commentary. In order to provide a timely publication, the special issue will not include further exchange of commentaries.


Two topics are the most important for an initial editorial recommendation to be reached: (1) the relevance of the paper to the numerical cognition field, which will result in two-phase handling of papers (see below), (2) statistical power, irrespective of whether the hypothesized effects were found or not. The authors should report sample size calculation and address the power issue or conduct Bayesian analyses in order to provide evidence for the conclusiveness of their results. Especially for null results, Bayesian analyses or/and equivalence testing should be conducted. The authors are highly encouraged to provide information about manipulation checks and data quality. For instance, using positive controls can ensure that experimental behaviour, in general, conforms to expectations.


Submission deadline: 30 October 2019 (see full timeline on linked page) 

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