The report introduces software sustainability, provides definitions, clearly demonstrates that software is not the same as data and illustrates aspects of sustainability in the software lifecycle. The recommendations state that improving software sustainability requires a number of changes: some technical and others societal, some small and others significant. We must start by raising awareness of researchers' reliance on software. This goal will become easier if we recognise the valuable contribution that software makes to research and reward those people who invest their time into developing reliable and reproducible software.
The workshop summarized in this report was designed not to address the social and experimental challenges but instead to focus on the latter issues of improper data management and analysis, inadequate statistical expertise, incomplete data, and difficulties applying sound statistical inference to the available data.
Mistakes in peer-reviewed papers are easy to find but hard to fix, report David B. Allison and colleagues: "In the course of assembling weekly lists of articles in our field, we began noticing more peer-reviewed articles containing what we call substantial or invalidating errors. These involve factual mistakes or veer substantially from clearly accepted procedures in ways that, if corrected, might alter a paper's conclusions."
Researchers at Sweden's Karolinska Institute and Royal Institute of Technology have developed a new data analysis workflow for shotgun mass spec that could help improve the technique's quantitative reproducibility. Detailed in a paper published this month in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, the approach uses a new quality scoring system that allows for more reliable recovery of missing data points across multiple mass spec runs.
Today the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) issued Enhancing Research Reproducibility, a set of recommendations aimed to promote the reproducibility and transparency of biomedical and biological research.
Experimental results that don’t hold up to replication have caused consternation among scientists for years, especially in the life and social sciences (SN: 1/24/15, p. 20). In 2015 several research groups examining the issue reported on the magnitude of the irreproducibility problem. The news was not good.