In this RCE Podcast, Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres discuss Reproducible Neuroscience with RCE Podcast Chris Gorgolewski from Stanford. "In recent years there has been increasing concern about the reproducibility of scientific results. Because scientific research represents a major public investment and is the basis for many decisions that we make in medicine and society, it is essential that we can trust the results. Our goal is to provide researchers with tools to do better science. Our starting point is in the field of neuroimaging, because that’s the domain where our expertise lies."
The University of Minnesota Libraries addressed this issue head-on this year by launching the reproducibility portal in an effort to help faculty and others on campus improve their research practices. The portal is a collaboration that includes Liberal Arts Technology and Information Services (LATIS) and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI).
Not a week passes without reproducibility in science – or the lack of it – hitting the headlines. Although much of the criticism is directed at the biomedical sciences or psychology, many of the same problems also pervade the chemical sciences.
Reproducibility is the idea that an experiment can be repeated by another scientist and they will get the same result. It is important to show that the claims of any experiment are true and for them to be useful for any further research. However, science appears to have an issue with reproducibility. A survey by Nature revealed that 52% of researchers believed there was a "significant reproducibility crisis" and 38% said there was a "slight crisis". We asked three experts how they think the situation could be improved.
The theoretical physicists Junior Professor Fabian Pauly and his postdoc Dr. Safa G. Bahoosh now succeeded in a team of experimental physicists and chemists in demonstrating a reliable and reproducible single molecule switch. The basis for this switch is a specifically synthesized molecule with special properties. This is an important step towards realising fundamental ideas of molecular electronics. The results were published in the online journal Nature Communications on 9 March 2017.
Science is facing a "reproducibility crisis" where more than two-thirds of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments, research suggests. This is frustrating clinicians and drug developers who want solid foundations of pre-clinical research to build upon. From his lab at the University of Virginia's Centre for Open Science, immunologist Dr Tim Errington runs The Reproducibility Project, which attempted to repeat the findings reported in five landmark cancer studies.
At AAAS 2017, a pair of panel discussions addressed the reproducibility crisis in science, particularly biomedical science, and suggested that it is manageable, provided stakeholders continue to demonstrate a commitment to quality. One panel, led by Leonard P. Freedman, Ph.D., president of Global Biological Standards Institute (GBSI), was comprehensive. It prescribed a range of initiatives.
One year after the Global Biological Standards Institute (GBSI) issued its Reproducibility2020 challenge and action plan for the biomedical research community, the organization reports encouraging progress toward the goal to significantly improve the quality of preclinical biological research by year 2020. "Reproducibility2020 Report: Progress and Priorities," posted today on bioRxiv, identifies action and impact that has been achieved by the life science research community and outlines priorities going forward. The report is the first comprehensive review of the steps being taken to improve reproducibility since the issue became more widely known in 2012.
The concept of reproducibility is one of the foundations of scientific practice and the bedrock by which scientific validity can be established. However, the extent to which reproducibility is being achieved in the sciences is currently under question. Several studies have shown that much peer-reviewed scientific literature is not reproducible. One crucial contributor to the obstruction of reproducibility is the lack of transparency of original data and methods. Reproducibility, the ability of scientific results and conclusions to be independently replicated by independent parties, potentially using different tools and approaches, can only be achieved if data and methods are fully disclosed.
Researchers from the UW’s eScience Institute, New York University Center for Data Science and Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS) have authored a new book titled The Practice of Reproducible Research. Representatives from the three universities, all Moore-Sloan Data Science Environments partners, joined on January 27, 2017, at a symposium hosted by BIDS. There, speakers discussed the book’s content, including case studies, lessons learned and the potential future of reproducible research practices.