The journal Social Psychology has issued a call for proposals for a special issue of their journal to be published in 2014. The name of the issue will be “Replications of Important Results in Social Psychology” and the call is available here.
The main reason that this is necessary is that replication isn’t “sexy”. Journals are interested in novelty and interesting findings, and so when they are offered a choice between printing the same thing twice or printing something new, they will always choose the latter. However, this means that those important replications are never formally published, and this can be significant when the replications cast doubt on the findings of the original study. Instead, we hold to the findings of a small number of groundbreaking studies which become effectively immune from high-profile critique due to a form of the “file drawer effect” (which I have mentioned before in the context of clinical trials). Such is not the way of science, so kudos to the editors of Social Psychology for attempting to turn the tide on this important issue.