Communication, Digital Technology, and Organization CTO

Free software now available to assess methodological transparency

  • 1.  Free software now available to assess methodological transparency

    Posted 10 days ago

    Dear AOM Friends,

    Many of us are concerned about methodological transparency (and lack thereof); therefore, many journals now have transparency policies. But we also know that checking for transparency in manuscripts submitted to conferences and journals is laborious and time-consuming—particularly for the already over-committed editors, associate editors, and reviewers (and faculty reading their students’ papers, including theses and dissertations). To address this challenge, I am delighted to share the following open-access article describing free software called the Research Transparency Index (RTI):

    ·       Aguinis, H., Li, A. Z., & Foo, M. D. 2024. The research transparency index. The Leadership Quarterly.

    You can download the RTI at It provides developmental feedback on the transparency of unpublished and published manuscripts describing quantitative research across key research stages: theory, design, measurement, data analysis, and reporting of results. RTI provides authors, journal editors, reviewers, and students (and faculty training future researchers) with a tool to assess manuscripts and receive developmental feedback on how to improve transparency.

    You will see that the RTI is an informative and developmental tool that helps us understand the steps we can take to enhance research transparency, thereby increasing the replicability and reproducibility of manuscripts. In addition to developmental feedback, while the RTI also provides a quantitative score to gauge transparency, the evaluative judgment of whether a particular score qualifies as meeting a specific threshold or another is contingent on the unique characteristics of each journal and the dynamics and norms of various management and adjacent subfields. Moreover, as emphasized in the Leadership Quarterly article, RTI should not be the exclusive arbiter of a manuscript’s transparency level and cannot replace human judgment when examining it. Also, as new research methods emerge, the transparency criteria assessed by RTI v. 1.0 may require revision, and those updates will be described at

    I hope that using the RTI will help us achieve our collective goal of continuing to promote a culture of transparency and fostering trust and credibility in the knowledge we produce. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

    All the best,


    Herman Aguinis, Ph.D.
    Avram Tucker Distinguished Scholar & Professor of Management
    The George Washington University School of Business
    Washington, DC