Thought for the month

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Origin uncertain, usually attributed as a Chinese Proverb.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Towards reproducibility

More than 70% of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist’s experiments with selective reporting and pressure to publish being considered the biggest drivers of lack of reproducibility (http://www.nature.com/news/1-500-scientists-lift-the-lid-on-reproducibility-1.19970 ). A better understanding of statistics and improved mentoring were identified as areas for improvement. Recent comments have focussed on the role of computers and software in the lack of transparency (https://theconversation.com/how-computers-broke-science-and-what-we-can-do-to-fix-it-49938 ). Open research, registered reports, data sharing and rewarding confirmatory work are tangible actions that should increase reproducibility (https://theconversation.com/the-science-reproducibility-crisis-and-what-can-be-done-about-it-74198). Last month one academic suggested (https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2017/mar/13/fraudulent-research-academic-misconduct-solutions) having an anti-corruption squad.

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