What reproducibility crisis? Open research may have the answers

By Dr Robert Darby, research data manager 

One of the pillars of all empirical research is that the findings of experiments should not just be one-offs. Anyone with the ability to do so should be able to pick up a research paper, follow the same methods, and come up with the same result.

Yet a recent survey by Nature found that more than 70% of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist’s experiments. Not only that, but more than half have failed to reproduce even their own experiments. Analyses have reported reproducibility rates for published studies of just 10% and 40%.

News of the so-called ‘reproducibility crisis’ has even reached the BBC, so something must be going on.

So is there really a reproducibility crisis? And if so, what can you do about it?

Open Science may provide answers – and the University of Reading is hosting a free conference on the topic of Open Research this March.

Open in Practice takes place on 30th March 2017.

Guest speakers include academics who use open methods to increase the quality and integrity of research, as well as publishers and data specialists promoting open models of research communication and validation. Talks will include:

  • ‘Scientific ecosystems and research reproducibility’, by Marcus Munafò, Professor of Biological Psychology, University of Bristol
  • ‘Top tips to make your research irreproducible’, by Tom Crick, Professor of Computer Science and Public Policy, Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • ‘The role of journals and publishers in sharing research data’, by Iain Hrynaszkiewicz, Head of Data Publishing at Springer Nature
  • ‘Methods and models for publishing Open Research’, by Jason Hoyt, CEO of PeerJ (Open Access publisher)
  • ‘50 years of social science data curation at the UK Data Archive: maximising opportunities for data reuse’, by Louise Corti, Associate Director, UK Data Archive

To find out more and register, visit the Open In Practice conference web page. Space is limited, so book your place now to avoid disappointment.

Picture by David Lofink creative commons 

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