The TOP Guidelines were created by journals, funders, and societies to align scientific ideals with practices.

Join over 850 organizations who have implemented TOP.

The Standards

Published in Science in 2015 (OA), the Transparency and Openness Promotion guidelines include eight modular standards, each with three levels of increasing stringency. Journals select which of the eight transparency standards they wish to adopt for their journal, and select a level of implementation for each standard. These features provide flexibility for adoption depending on disciplinary variation, but simultaneously establish community standards.

Standards: Data Citation | Data, Materials, and Code Transparency | Design and Analysis | Preregistration | Replication

Levels: Disclose, Require, or Verify


Join the Over 850 Journals that are Implementing TOP 

Requiring more transparent research practices, with reasonable exceptions for difficult situations, is possible. This set of standards require open data, research materials, and analytic code, while encouraging disclosure of additional steps that can increase the credibility of inferential research. 

Level 2 for Data Citation and Data, Materials, Code, and Design Standards; Level 1 for Preregistration and Replication


News and Updates


Become a Signatory

Over 5,000 journals and organizations have already become signatories of the TOP Guidelines. Show your support of the principles behind the standards by becoming a signatory today. We'll reach out and help to implement the standards that are most appropriate to the work that you fund or publish.


For inquiries, please contact David Mellor or email top@cos.io.

Not Implemented Level I Level II Level III
Citation Standards Journal encourages citation of data, code, and materials, or says nothing. Journal describes citation of data in guidelines to authors with clear rules and examples. Article provides appropriate citation for data and materials used consistent with journal's author guidelines. Article is not published until providing appropriate citation for data and materials following journal's author guidelines.
Data Transparency Journal encourages data sharing, or says nothing. Article states whether data are available, and, if so, where to access them. Data must be posted to a trusted repository. Exceptions must be identified at article submission. Data must be posted to a trusted repository, and reported analyses will be reproduced independently prior to publication.
Analytic Methods (Code) Transparency Journal encourages code sharing, or says nothing. Article states whether code is available, and, if so, where to access it. Code must be posted to a trusted repository. Exceptions must be identified at article submission. Code must be posted to a trusted repository, and reported analyses will be reproduced independently prior to publication.
Research Materials Transparency Journal encourages materials sharing, or says nothing. Article states whether materials are available, and, if so, where to access them. Materials must be posted to a trusted repository. Exceptions must be identified at article submission. Materials must be posted to a trusted repository, and reported analyses will be reproduced independently prior to publication.
Design and Analysis Transparency Journal encourages design and analysis transparency, or says nothing. Journal articulates design transparency standards. Journal requires adherence to design transparency standards for review and publication. Journal requires and enforces adherence to design transparency standards for review and publication.
Study Preregistration Journal says nothing. Article states whether preregistration of study exists, and, if so, where to access it. Article states whether preregistration of study exists, and, if so, allows journal access during peer review for verification. Journal requires preregistration of studies and provides link and badge in article to meeting requirements.
Analysis Plan Preregistration Journal says nothing. Article states whether preregistration of study exists, and, if so, where to access it. Article states whether preregistration with analysis plan exists, and, if so, allows journal access during peer review for verification. Journal requires preregistration of studies with analysis plans and provides link and badge in article to meeting requirements.
Replication Journal discourages submission of replication studies, or says nothing. Journal encourages submission of replication studies. Journal encourages submission of replication studies and conducts results blind review. Journal uses Registered Reports as a submission option for replication studies with peer review prior to observing the study outcomes.

Read the complete TOP Guidelines PDF or wiki

Download the summary table for journals or funders.

Join the 850+ Journals that are Implementing TOP 

  • Review the language on these sample implementations for journals or funding agencies.
  • Determine which standards you wish to use. Disclose, require, or verify?
  • Each standard can be applied independently from others.
  • Make an announcement about your implementation through an editorial or blog post.


Resources


TOP Implementors

We currently know of 854 journals that have implemented TOP-compliant policies as of June 2018. We are working on tools to make this information more discoverable. In the meantime, please see examples of such policies below or contact us for more information.  

    The TOP Guidelines are a recognized standard in publishing and funding.

    With almost 5,000 signatories, the TOP Guidelines are a widely used tool for implementing open science practices.

    Journal signatories are expressing their support of the principles of openness, transparency, and reproducibility, expressing interest in the guidelines and commit to conducting a review within a year of the standards and levels of adoption.

    Organization signatories are expressing their support of the principles of openness, transparency, and reproducibility and encouraging associated journals to conduct a review of the standards and levels of adoption.

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Journal Title Publisher Society/Association Affiliation Subject Area