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General

SIPS Statement Condemning Racism and Police Brutality

The Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science (SIPS) condemns racism and police brutality in the United States, where white supremacy and oppressive policing practices threaten the lives and well-being of Black people. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Tony McDade. We mourn their murders and the thousands of lives taken by state violence and police brutality.

The white supremacy at the root of this violence is also present in the world of psychological science – it is deeply ingrained in our admissions and hiring processes, our professional incentive structures, our classrooms, our departments, and our societies. Although academia may seem far removed from police departments and political offices, SIPS members play a role in constructing the community in which we all live. If we continue with ‘business as usual,’ we willperpetually recreate a community that tacitly endorses falsehoods like:

  • Science conducted by wealthy white Americans, on samples of wealthy white Americans, can serve everyone
  • Teaching about psychology means focusing on contributions of white men and women
  • Covert white supremacy is not a problem in academia

If we are more vigilant, we will find ourselves with many opportunities to challenge, question, and undermine those falsehoods.

SIPS was founded on the principle of continuing self-improvement. We cannot do good science without diverse voices, but right now the demographics of SIPS (which can be viewed here) are unrepresentative of the field of psychology, which is in turn unrepresentative of the global population. We have work to do when it comes to better supporting Black scholars and other underrepresented minorities. With this in mind, we are taking the following actions:

  • We will partner with other societies whose mission is to increase the number of Black people and other underrepresented minorities in psychology. As a first step, some of us have applied to join the SPARK Society’s network of volunteers that will provide a “first review” for underrepresented minority trainees, giving rapid and constructive feedback on manuscripts before they are submitted to a journal.
  • At this year’s conference, we will host a hackathon entitled “Attracting and Retaining Members from Regional and Racial/Ethnic Backgrounds that are Underrepresented in SIPS” with the intent of continuing an ongoing conversation about ways to address this problem. We will assign an Executive Committee member to build on this work and conduct a survey aimed at identifying barriers to involvement with SIPS and open science. (Update 6/29/20: Heather Urry is now the Executive Committee managing this effort.)
  • We will introduce a new category for SIPS Mission Awards  that will recognize meta-scientific work addressing inclusivity within academia (nominations can be submitted here).
  • We will post this statement on our website along with this link for submitting suggestions to lengthen and improve this plan of action. We will add updates as we make progress on these items, making ourselves accountable to the SIPS community.

These are small steps in a much longer journey. Lasting change will take the same kind of careful, persistent, and collaborative work that the SIPS community has devoted to advocating for more open and reproducible science. With these steps, we express our commitment to doing this work, and to dismantling systemic racism within the SIPS community and academia.

Signed,

Alexa Tullett, on behalf of the SIPS Executive Committee
Kimberly Quinn, on behalf of the SIPS Diversity Committee

This statement was written collaboratively by the following individuals (listed alphabetically):

Joanne Chung
Katie Corker
Melissa Kline
Benjamin Le
Hannah Moshontz
Kimberly Quinn
Alexa Tullett
Heather Urry

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General

SIPS Demographics Report

This document reports the collected demographics of the active SIPS membership as well as the registrants for the free online SIPS2020 conference.

Active members

The following report is based on the records retrieved from Wild Apricot of 483 currently-active members (as of May 21, 2020).

Nationality. Active members represent 30 countries. 53% of members are from the USA (44%) or Canada (9%). 32% of members are from Europe: 8% from Germany, 8% from the Netherlands, 5% the UK, and 1% or fewer from each of several other European countries. A further 8% are from East Asia and the Pacific, with 5% from Australia and New Zealand and a combined 3% from China, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, The Philippines, and Hong Kong. Less than 1% are from South Asia, Latin America & the Caribbean, North Africa and the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa combined. 6.5% of members do not have a country listed.

Race and ethnicity. Most active members report being white (68%) or Asian (12%). 2% identify as Middle Eastern or North African, and only 1% identify as Black. 2.5% report being Latino/Hispanic/Chicano/Puerto Rican. Race and ethnicity information was collected via checklist, so any one member might be counted in several of these categories. 11% did not provide race and ethnicity information.

Gender. Membership is 47% male and 43% female, with 10% not reporting their gender. Less than 1% of members reported a gender besides male or female.

Sexual orientation. Regarding sexual orientation, 52% report being heterosexual, 6% bisexual, 4% gay or lesbian, and 1% self-described with another label. Nonresponse is an issue, as 25% did not indicate a sexual orientation, and 12% indicated that they preferred not to report an orientation.

Transgender identity. Less than 1% of members reported transgender status. Nonresponse may be an issue, with 43% of members not indicating cis/transgender identity.

Career stage. 37% are in a faculty position, 15% are postdocs, 33% are graduate students, and 1% are undergraduate students. 8% did not indicate their career stage, and 5% indicated a career stage outside of these categories. Of the faculty positions, 54% are tenured (or equivalent), 20% are tenure-track (or equivalent), and 9% are visiting or adjunct. 16% of faculty reported indicated some other form of position.

SIPS 2020 registrants

The following report is based on the registration information of 1000 registrants for the online SIPS 2020 conference (as of June 15, 2020).

Nationality. Registrants for SIPS2020 represent 49 countries. 36% are from the United States (30%) or Canada (6%). 52% are from Europe and Central Asia (16% UK, 8% Germany, 7% Netherlands, 3% Turkey, 3% Spain, and many more). 8% are from East Asia and the Pacific (3% Australia, 2% New Zealand, and less than 1% from Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, China, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore.). 2% are from Latin America and the Caribbean (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru). 1% is from India. Less than 1% are from the Middle East, North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa combined.

Gender. Registrants are 32% male and 47% female, with 21% not reporting a gender. 1% of members indicated a gender besides male or female.

Race and ethnicity. 55% of registrants are White, 11% Asian, 3% Middle Eastern and/or North African, and 1% Black. 4% report being Latino/Hispanic/Chicano/Puerto Rican. Again, race and ethnicity information was collected via checklist, so any one member might be counted in several of these categories. 27% of registrants did not provide race and ethnicity information.

Sexual orientation. Regarding sexual orientation, 39% of registrants report being heterosexual, 6% bisexual, 4% gay or lesbian, and 1% self-described with another label. Nonresponse is an issue, as 42% did not indicate a sexual orientation, and 8% indicated that they preferred not to report an orientation.

Transgender identity. Less than 1% of registrants indicated transgender status. 54% did not indicate cis/transgender identity.

Career stage. 22% are in a faculty position, 12% are in postdoctoral training, 36% are graduate students, and 3% are undergraduate students. 22% did not indicate their career stage, and 4% indicated a career stage outside these categories. Of the registrants in faculty positions, 42% indicated being tenured, 22% indicated being tenure track, and 15% indicated being non-tenure-track. A further 21% of faculty indicated having another kind of position (e.g. research scholar in a private corporation or non-profit organization).

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General

repliCATS Pre-SIPS Workshop & Travel Grants

Edit (March 29, 202o): The repliCATS pre-SIPS workshop is cancelled. More information on remote participation coming soon.

The repliCATS project will run a pre-SIPS workshop about evaluating published research claims and predicting the likely outcome of replication studies. 100 travel grants of US$550 are available to those who live outside the immediate area. This is a full (long) day workshop, running the day before SIPS at the SIPS conference venue : 20 June (8:15am-5:30pm) at the Victoria Conference Centre located at 720 Douglas Street, Victoria, British Columbia. Lunch and coffee are included.

Read more about the repliCATS project here. Register your interest in the pre-SIPS workshop here.

Please note: The grants are reimbursements, not upfront payments (sorry, not our fault!). “Outside the immediate area” means more than ~2 hour commute away, but preference may be given to those travelling further. There will also be up to 50 unfunded spots at the workshop—you don’t have to accept money to attend.

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General

SIPS EC signs letter in support of open-access publishing

Last month, several scientific societies signed a letter to President Trump urging him against mandating open-access publication of federally funded research in the United States. Among the signatories of that letter were the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.

Today, the Executive Committee of SIPS has signed a counter-letter arguing in favor of open access. We chose to sign this letter because we see great benefits in open-access publication, which allows researchers and the public greater access to scientific research. Under the current system, publishers use volunteer labor to write, review, and edit articles, but the product of that free labor is sold back to universities and readers at a premium. We need policymakers to understand that open access publication does have advantages and that there are scientists and scientific societies that support it.

We also chose to sign this letter because it emphasizes the importance of sharing scientific findings not just with American taxpayers, who are funders of this work, but with people across the globe. One of the core values of science is universalism, and limiting access to research undercuts the global contribution that can be made by scientific work. 

We recognize that there are possible concerns with this purported executive order. Is an executive order the correct way to direct scientific publishing? How long might be required for such a transition? Will open-access article processing charges be more financially reasonable than subscription fees? Still, on balance, we feel the opportunities of open access outweigh the risks.

We had to make this decision quickly and before the letter could be made public. If you want to share your comments or concerns about this decision, you can reach us at sips@improvingpsych.org.

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General

SIPS 2019 Year in Review

December 31, 2019

Dear SIPS Community,

As 2019 draws to a close, I want to share with you some news and reflections about SIPS. It is an exciting time for the organization as we are growing in size and expanding our activities. Our members work at the annual conference and on their own time to make psychological science better. And we continue to depend on, and benefit from, the time, energy, and vision of volunteers who serve on committees and contribute to initiatives.

The annual conference

The 2019 conference was a great success. Attendance far outpaced our expectations, owing to a large and active open science community in Europe, and many people came to Rotterdam to work on making psychology better. The program was packed with a wide range of content. We are collecting a list of products that come out of SIPS conferences. If you were in a hackathon or other session that produced something ready to share, please let us know (sips@improvingpsych.org) so we can add it!

For 2020, we will be returning to North America, with our conference in beautiful Victoria, Canada. The program and logistics committees have been hard at work getting ready, and registration and submissions are now open! Early registration ends January 12 and is first-come, first-served. Already 200 people have registered. Don’t miss out!

Diversity and inclusion have been a core part of SIPS from its creation. At the inaugural conference in 2016, there were two cross-cutting themes considered important enough to schedule as plenary sessions before the breakout groups got to work: one on “what is open science?” and the other on diversity and inclusion. This reflected the organizers’ view that diversity and inclusion should be a part of everything we do, so that the “open” in open science truly means open and inclusive of everyone.

For 2020, we are taking a number of steps to strengthen this commitment. The 2020 programming and diversity committees will partner to ensure that at least one preplanned diversity session is on the 2020 program. Diversity programming has always been very popular, so we want to ensure that there is at least one hackathon or other session on the program. (And this should not deter anyone from submitting more!) 2020 will also see the return of the diversity re-hack. In the re-hack, people from all hackathons work together to figure out ways to make their projects and products work for as many people as possible. Thanks to generous donations from members, we are able to offer student/postdoc travel awards and diversity travel awards to make the conference more affordable. And thanks to support from the Fetzer Franklin Fund, we have geographic diversity grants available as well. Information about these grants is available on the 2020 conference website.

If you would like to make a year-end donation to the travel grants or other SIPS initiatives, you can do so on the SIPS website. (Note: these donations are tax deductible for U.S. residents.) We are very grateful to everyone who has donated money to make these activities possible.

Updated code of conduct

At our annual meetings and all other events, SIPS aims to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone. In 2017, we created a code of conduct to communicate how we will stand behind this commitment. We have recently revised our code of conduct to better align it with best practices. This includes the creation of a code of conduct committee to receive and act on reports in a way that provides continuity and can reflect multiple perspectives. You can read the new code of conduct here.

PsyArXiv

PsyArXiv continues to be a major and growing operation of SIPS. In 2019, the individuals running the service became known as the PsyArXiv Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), with new bylaws and an expanded governance structure. We have also added a Member Advisory Board with representatives from libraries and other stakeholders. We will have more to report on this in 2020. At this time, we would like to thank outgoing SAB chair Ben Brown for his extensive service and work establishing PsyArXiv. We also welcome the incoming chair of the SAB, Jack Arnal.

Preprint servers like PsyArXiv play an important role in science, offering “green” open access to articles that are otherwise hidden behind paywalls, and promoting faster and more open scientific discourse. As PsyArXiv grows, we will need to raise funds to support it. If you have the means to donate yourself, you can do so through the SIPS website. You can also help PsyArXiv by helping us contact your institution’s library to see if they want to become a supporting member (many are happy to do so!). Reach out to us at sips@improvingpsych.org to learn more.

Collabra: Psychology

Collabra: Psychology is the official journal of SIPS, operated through a partnership with the University of California Press. SIPS provides the scientific direction and governance, including selecting editors and setting policy, while UC Press acts as publisher. Unlike many other society journals, Collabra: Psychology does not produce revenue for SIPS. It is operated by two non-profits that are committed to serving the scientific community under a unique funding model. That model keeps article processing charges (APCs) lower than other open-access journals and reinvests a portion of them back in the scientific community.

There are two ways that SIPS members can support Collabra: Psychology. The first is to serve as a reviewer or an editor. A call for new editors recently closed, but individuals interested in future openings should write to sips@improvingpsych.org. The second way to support the journal is to submit your work. Because cost should be no barrier, waivers are available for anyone who does not have institutional or grant funds to pay the APC – something I am taking advantage of myself.

In closing, I want to say what a privilege it has been to serve on the Executive Committee for the past three years. I got to see up close the dedication and hard work that so many people are putting into SIPS. I have passed the baton (to the incoming executive committee and its new president Alexa Tullett), but I look forward to continuing to work with SIPS to fulfill its mission. And I look forward to seeing all of you in Victoria in June!

Sincerely,

Sanjay Srivastava

Past President

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Committees General

New award category: SIPS Commendations

SIPS is looking for projects to award that advance the SIPS mission under its new SIPS Commendations program. These smaller commendations are planned to be awarded three times a year in November, March, and July. Nominations and self-nominations may be made here.

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Committees General

SIPS award committee seeks new member

We are looking for a new member of the SIPS Award committee. Please click here to nominate a candidate. Self-nominations are also welcome. Please make your nominations by midnight, Pacific Standard Time, December 15th.

Categories
Collabra General

Collabra seeks new editors

SIPS seeks new editors for its official journal, Collabra: Psychology, a mission-driven Open Access (OA) journal from the University of California Press. Review of applications begins Nov. 15, 2019. Click here for more info.