The promise of open developmental science

Rick O. Gilmore

2018-10-07 08:34:30

Rick Gilmore (Penn State/Databrary), “The Promise of Open Developmental Science”

Anne Mastergeorge (Texas Tech University), “An analysis of the association between brain gray matter volumes and working memory in children with autism spectrum disorder”

Melissa Kline (MIT), “ManyBabies - Using Larg(er) Experimental Datasets for Methodological and Theoretical Questions”

Developmental science is harder than physics


Source: Ori Ossmy (NYU)

Cole, P.M., Gilmore, R.O., Scherf, K.S. & Perez-Edgar, K. (2016). The Proximal Emotional Environment Project (PEEP). Databrary.

Naigles, L. (2014). Children use syntax to learn verb meanings. Databrary. Retrieved October 4, 2018 from

The PLAY Project Wiki:

Studies are not underpowered

  • Findings accumulate
  • Theories are advanced, accepted, expanded, or rejected

Remaining barriers

Latonya Sweeney’s Data Privacy Lab

…psychologists tend to treat other peoples’ theories like toothbrushes; no self-respecting individual wants to use anyone else’s.

(Mischel, 2009)

The toothbrush culture undermines the building of a genuinely cumulative science, encouraging more parallel play and solo game playing, rather than building on each other’s directly relevant best work.

(Mischel, 2009)

Share not your toothbrush…

But do share…

  • Data
    • & analysis code/scripts (R, Python, SPSS, SAS, …)
    • Rawest possible (trial-level, individual, …)
  • Displays (& code to generate)
  • Protocols & procedures
    • Video as a gold standard

Adolph, K. (2014). Excerpt Volume: Learning in the development of infant locomotion. Databrary. Retrieved October 5, 2018 from


With whom

  • Public
  • Researchers
  • People you select & vet

With whom

  • Public
    • Risks of reidentification?
    • Can you really anonymize?
  • Researchers
    • ICPSR, Databrary, & OpenNeuro
  • People you select & vet


  • Soon after you collect it
  • On manuscript submission
  • On acceptance or publication
  • End of grant
  • When I’m damn good and ready…


Wilkinson, M. D., Dumontier, M., Aalbersberg, I. J. J., Appleton, G., Axton, M., Baak, A., Blomberg, N., et al. (2016). The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship. Scientific data, 3, 160018. Retrieved from

Share ethically

  • Don’t promise to destroy data (but GDPR?)
  • Don’t unduly restrict future reuses

the principles of human subject research require an analysis of both risks and benefits…such an analysis suggests that researchers may have a positive duty to share data in order to maximize the contribution that individual participants have made.

(Brakewood & Poldack, 2013)

Share openly

  • Without restriction on others’ reuse
  • Without quid pro quo, pre-approval, or requirement of co-authorship
  • With expectation of ethical use AND proper citation

Play & Learning Across a Year (PLAY) Project

\(n=900\) 12-, 18-, 24-mo-olds; \(n=30\) sites

Hiring Research Scientists (PhD/ABD):

“The advancement of detailed and diverse knowledge about the development of the world’s children is essential for improving the health and well-being of humanity. We regard scientific integrity, transparency, and openness as essential for the conduct of research and its application to practice and policy.”

SRCD Task Force on Scientific Integrity and Openness

This talk was produced on 2018-10-07 08:34:31 in RStudio 1.1.453 using R Markdown and the reveal.JS framework. The code and materials used to generate the slides may be found at Information about the R Session that produced the slides is as follows:

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