Upcoming Webinars Archived Webinars Training Vitals Host A Webinar About Get Updates Contact

Lack of Research Reproducibility Calls Scientific Integrity Into Question

XTALKS VITALS NEWS

Research

The journal, Nature conducted a survey last year which found that over 70 percent of researchers have, at one time or another, been unable to reproduce another’s results by conducting the same experiments.

Share this!

February 27, 2017 | by Sarah Hand, M.Sc.

The University of Virginia's Centre for Open Science hosts The Reproducibility Project, a group of scientists with the aim of replicating the results reported in five large cancer studies. The researchers have been working on the project since 2011, however they have only been able to reproduce the results of two of the original studies.

“The idea here is to take a bunch of experiments and to try and do the exact same thing to see if we can get the same results,” Dr. Tim Errington, head of The Reproducibility Project, told BBC News. Since scientific papers contain detailed Material and Methods sections outlining the details of the original experiments, one would assume that following this recipe should produce similar results.

Unfortunately, Errington’s findings suggests a growing problem in the life science industry where irreproducible research may be misguiding further studies. “It's worrying because replication is supposed to be a hallmark of scientific integrity,” said Errington.

The journal, Nature conducted a survey last year which found that over 70 percent of researchers have, at one time or another, been unable to reproduce another’s results by conducting the same experiments. Most scientists believe that the problem isn’t a matter of the study authors presenting fraudulent data, but instead lies within the publishing process itself.

“What we see in the published literature is a highly curated version of what's actually happened,” said Dr. Marcus Munafo, professor of biological psychology at Bristol University. “The trouble is that gives you a rose-tinted view of the evidence because the results that get published tend to be the most interesting, the most exciting, novel, eye-catching, unexpected results.”



There are many factors that contribute to this growing issue: funding bodies that want to see big returns on their investment, peer reviewed journals interested in publishing only the most exciting results, and research institutions that rely on major research projects to secure financial backing. “Everyone has to take a share of the blame,” said Dame Ottoline Leyser, director of the Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge. “The way the system is set up encourages less than optimal outcomes.”

So how can we solve this problem? According to Nature, getting researchers to think about the reproducibility of their work could be the first step to addressing this issue. The prestigious journal has created a reproducibility checklist designed to encourage researchers to improve their study’s rigour before submitting their paper for publication.

“Replication is something scientists should be thinking about before they write the paper,” said Ritu Dhand, the editorial director at Nature. “It's going to take a multi-pronged approach involving funders, the institutes, the journals and the researchers.”


Keywords: Research Reproducibility, Scientific Integrity, Publication


| NEXT ARTICLE | MORE NEWS | BLOGS | VIDEOS | POLLS & QUIZZES | WEBINARS |

Share this with your colleagues!

MORE NEWS
Amgen Identifies Issue with Patient Access to PCSK9 Inhibitor

March 23, 2017 - Most US patients hoping to get their PCSK9 inhibitor medications covered by their prescription drug plan are being denied, according to two new studied conducted by Amgen.

Featured In: Biotech News


Smartphone App Created Using Apple’s ResearchKit Used to Conduct Asthma Clinical Studies

March 22, 2017 - Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have conducted a large-scale, observational study of asthma patients using the Apple ResearchKit framework and the Asthma Health app on patients’ iPhones.

Featured In: Clinical Trials News


IBS Patients Taking Viberzi May Be at Increased Risk of Pancreatitis

March 22, 2017 - According to a recent drug safety communication issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with diarrhea should not be treated using Viberzi (eluxadoline), if they do not have a gallbladder.

Featured In: Drug Safety News

LEAVE A COMMENT
 
  
THE XTALKS VITALS LIFE SCIENCE BLOG

Will Pharmaceutical Serialization Solve All of Our Drug Counterfeiting Problems?

REGISTER FOR THESE WEBINARS

How to Improve the Speed and Efficiency of Your Clinical Trials


High Performance Computing for High Content Screening - A Case Study


The FDA Guidance on the Assessment of Abuse Potential of Drug – A Critical Review


Treatment of Psoriasis: Improvements Through Clinical Trials


Copyright © 2016-2017 Honeycomb Worldwide Inc.