Reproducibility in Accounting Research: Views of the Research Community

35 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2020 Last revised: 7 Apr 2020

See all articles by Luzi Hail

Luzi Hail

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Mark H. Lang

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Christian Leuz

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Center for Financial Studies (CFS); University of Pennsylvania - Wharton Financial Institutions Center; CESifo Research Network

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Date Written: March 15, 2020

Abstract

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.

Keywords: accounting research, ethics, expert survey, publication process, research methodology, replication, reproducibility

JEL Classification: A14, B41, M40, M41

Suggested Citation

Hail, Luzi and Lang, Mark H. and Leuz, Christian, Reproducibility in Accounting Research: Views of the Research Community (March 15, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3554020 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3554020

Luzi Hail (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

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European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

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Mark H. Lang

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ( email )

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Christian Leuz

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

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European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

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Center for Financial Studies (CFS) ( email )

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University of Pennsylvania - Wharton Financial Institutions Center

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