Thought for the month

“There is nothing noble in being superior to some other man. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.” Probably W.L. Sheldon, US lecturer on ethics (1858 – 1907) rather than Ernest Hemingway.

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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