Platform for Young Meta-Scientists (PYMS)

Platform for Young Meta-Scientists (PYMS)

Uniting early career researchers who study science


We are the Platform for Young Meta-Scientists (PYMS). Our goal is to facilitate collaboration and the exchange of ideas between early-career meta-scientists. Even though most of our activities take place in the Netherlands, we welcome researchers from all around the world!


  • Open Science
  • Preregistration
  • Questionable Research Practices
  • Reporting standards
  • Incentive structures

Next Event

Post-Corona PYMS Meeting

When the Corona-crisis has finally ended, we will get together to celebrate science!

Previous Events

Pre-Conference Tilburg Meta-Research Day

The most recent PYMS meeting was organized as a precursor to the Tilburg Meta-Research Day. We came together with about twenty young meta-scientists to present (and cricically discuss) our own research. This critical lens is important to be able to practice what we preach and keep ourselves to the same standards we hold others.

Unconference Session at SIPS 2019

At SIPS we wanted to broaden our horizon and set the stage for a platform for early-career meta-scientists not limited to the Netherlands. SIPS allows us to present ourselves as an entity, debate about meta-science topics, and share ideas about further developing our network.

Inaugural Meeting

The inaugural meeting at Utrecht University consisted of getting acquainted with each other and deciding on what we would want out of the platform. The elephant outside the room during this meeting was the source of the current PYMS-mascot: the metaphant.




An upcoming database that collates and shares meta-science in all fields around the world.


Committee members


Anne Scheel

PhD-student at Eindhoven University of Technology

Reproducibility, Registered reports, Preregistration, Hypothesis testing, Research practice


Noah van Dongen

PhD-student at the University of Turin

Philosophy, Statistical inference, Research methods


Olmo van den Akker

PhD-student at Tilburg University

Preregistration, Statistical inference, Evolutionary psychology, Behavioral economics


Sarahanne Field

PhD-student at the University of Groningen

Reproducibility, Registered Reports, Preregistration, Reflexivity, Virtual ethnography

Other members


Chris-Gabriel Islam

PhD-student at the University of Göttingen

Meta-research, Reproducibility, Reporting Errors, Econometrics, Price Statistics


Judith ter Schure

PhD-student at CWI Amsterdam

Statistics for accumulating science, Adaptive experimental design


Katie Drax

PhD-student at the University of Bristol

Sociology of science, Open research, Qualitative research, Tools


Leo Tiokhin

Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Eindhoven University of Technology

Incentives, Recognition and rewards structures, Theoretical modeling, Evolutionary approaches to human behavior


Lisa Spitzer

PhD-student at the Leibniz Institute for Psychology (ZPID)

Preregistration, Registered Reports, Reproducibility, Statistical inference


Merle-Marie Pittelkow

PhD-student at University of Groningen

Decisions regarding treatment endorsement, Replication target selection, Bayesian statistics, Reproducibility, Transparency


Michèle Nuijten

Assistant Professor at Tilburg University

Statistical reproducibility, Replication, Transparency


Peder M. Isager

PhD-student at Eindhoven University of Technology

study selection, replication, causal inference, validity, large-scale collaboration, psychopathology, psychopharmacology


Robbie C. M. van Aert

Postdoctoral researcher at Tilburg University

Meta-analysis, Publication bias, R programming, Sports analytics


Sophia Crüwell

PhD-student at the Meta-Research Innovation Centre Berlin (METRIC-B)

Incentive Structures, Research Practices, Reproducibility, Philosophy

Blog Posts by PYMS-Members

Blog series - Modeling for metascientists (and other interesting people)

An introduction by Leo Tiokhin of his blog series about modeling for metascientists in the social sciences.

Why indirect contributions matter for science and scientists

Academia currently places too much emphasis on an academic’s direct contributions like the number of papers in prominent journals. Here, Leo Tiokhin and colleagues explain that we should reward indirect contrbutions as well. What kind of contributions? Read this blog post to find out.

What institutional reforms will make science more efficient and reliable?

Reflections on the paper, “Competition for priority harms the reliability of science, but reforms can help.”

Honest signaling in academic publishing

Scientific publishing has become a game between scientists and journals. Scientists try to convince the journals to publish their papers, while journals try to filter-out low-quality papers while being overwhelmed with too many submissions. Is there a smarter way? Leo Tiokhin explains why honest signaling may be the key.

The first rule of appealing editors' publication decisions is "nobody talks about appealing editors' publication decisions"

In this post Leo Tiokhin explains what appeals of paper rejections have to with the movie Fight Club.

Meta-Science News

Reproducibility, Replicability and Trust in Science (Virtual Conference)

This new meeting will bring together an international audience of researchers motivated to improve the robustness of scientific research. It will also involve important stakeholder groups - data and services providers, publishers, institutions and funders that are developing policies and tools.

Priority Programme "Meta-Science & Replicability"

The newly established DFG Priority Programme META-REP offers funding for up to 30 individual meta-scientific projects for research analyzing and optimizing replicability in the behavioral, social and cognitive sciences.

Platform for Young Meta-Scientists (PYMS) Mission Statement

PYMS was founded in May 2018 by a group of junior meta-scientists from universities in the Netherlands and neighbouring countries. We are brought together by our common interest in the science of science. In recent years, the field of meta-science has gained momentum and many new meta-science projects are being initiated, especially in the Netherlands. However, communication among the researchers involved with these projects did not always keep up. We decided to bundle our strengths into PYMS because we believe that sharing ideas and collaborating on projects makes science more efficient and fun.

Our general goal is to bring meta-scientists together at an early stage in their career to create awareness of each other’s work and build a useful academic network. Specifically, we host discussion and reading groups and keep each other updated on methodological developments, relevant conferences, workshops, and courses. We also regularly meet in a more formal capacity to share and discuss our research in a mini-conference setting.

Meta-scientists primarily study research practices, methods, epistemology, and sociological and historical aspects of science and scientists, often focussing on how science can become more reliable, reproducible, inclusive, efficient, or effective. Most of the PYMS founding members have a background in psychology, which is likely a result of recent efforts to improve research practices in this discipline. However, meta-science is an inherently interdisciplinary research area and draws on expertise from fields including, but not limited to, philosophy, history of science, statistics, psychology, and sociology. Consequently, PYMS is open to meta-researchers from all disciplines. As long as the goal is to conduct or discuss ‘science about science’, we are interested in connecting.

We decided to restrict our group to early-career researchers (graduate/PhD students and postdocs) because the flat hierarchy allows us to communicate more quickly and flexibly, and to offer each other a unique kind of peer support. The word ‘young’ in PYMS should thus be interpreted as referring to career stage; we explicitly welcome ‘junior’ meta-researchers of all ages.

PYMS has its geographical centre in the Netherlands, which is simply a result of the high density of meta-scientists in this area. Working at an institution in the Netherlands or nearby is not required for joining the group, but potential members should be aware that our meetings will predominantly be held in this region.

Finally, please meet the inspiration for our logo, the infamous Metaphant. This beauty sat beside the room at Utrecht University where we had our very first meeting, so we had no choice but to adopt it as our mascot.