Letting Out Steam: Reproducibility Problems

The first part of the STM innovations seminar focused on the problems of reproducibility in science. For some years now, there have been voices of concern noting that when previously reported results are tested, the data very often doesn’t come out the same way. During the seminar, Andrew Hufton of Scientific Data went so far as to state that progress in the pharmaceutical sciences is being held back by lack of reliability in the basic literature.

Translation, cultural adaptation and reproducibility of the Oxford Shoulder Score questionnaire for Brazil, among patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Although shoulder questionnaires validated for Brazil do exist, none of them are aimed at populations with rheumatic disease. We believe that the Oxford Shoulder Score (OSS) may be useful in this population. The objective of this study was to translate the OSS, adapt it to Brazilian culture and test its reproducibility.

How do we fix bad science?

Independently verifying research can help science regain its credibility, argues Laurie Zoloth. His paper: "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False", was published in August 2005, in PLOS Medicine. It became one of the journal’s most-cited articles. While climate sceptics, anti-vaccination campaigners and the rest of the pseudo-science community have dined out on this paper, arguably it has been a shot in the arm for science.