Reproducibility in Accounting Research: Views of the Research Community

Posted by Christian Leuz - May 05, 2020


We have little knowledge about the prevalence of irreproducibility in the accounting literature. To narrow this gap, we conducted a survey among the participants of the 2019 JAR Conference on their perceptions of the frequency, causes and consequences of irreproducible research published in accounting journals. A majority of respondents believe that irreproducibility is common in the literature, constitutes a major problem and receives too little attention. Most have encountered irreproducibility in the work of others (although not in their own work) but chose not to pursue their failed reproduction attempts to publication. Respondents believe irreproducibility results chiefly from career or publication incentives as well as from selective reporting of results. They also believe that practices like sharing code and data combined with stronger incentives to replicate the work of others would enhance reproducibility. The views of accounting researchers are remarkably similar to those expressed in a survey by the scientific journal Nature. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings and provide several potential paths forward for the accounting research community.

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