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.