Research Byte: research reproducibility

By Franklin Sayre

Repro

Evidence has recently emerged from disciplines ranging from biology to economics that many scientific studies are not reproducible. 

This evidence has led to declarations in both the scientific and lay press that science is experiencing a “reproducibility crisis” and that this crisis has consequences for the extent to which students, faculty, and the public at large can trust research.

This Research Byte is intended to introduce some of the tools and resources that can be applied to improve research reproducibility (recreating a study with same procedures and data) and research replicability (recreating a study with new data).

Getting started

The University Libraries and other campus units have tools and expertise to support reproducibility and rigor throughout the research life cycle, from finding reporting guidelines to curating and sharing your data, to open access publishing and data sharing.

To get started, check out the University Libraries’ help page on Reproducibility, and contact your subject librarian for specialized support within your discipline.

What you need to know

The following papers provide an introduction to the topic of research reproducibility through landmark articles and guidelines that aim to address the reproducibility crisis. There are many disciplinary-specific examples and guidelines that should be taken into consideration.

Remember that here at the University of Minnesota, you can contact your subject librarian for individualized support for your research or department.

A landmark study from psychology that prompted a broad discussion of research reproducibility in both the scientific and popular press.

An article by Goodman et al. that provides an overview of what is meant, especially in medicine, by reproducibility. It includes a useful distinction between methods, results, and inferential reproducibility.

NIH Guidelines for reporting preclinical research.

The American Statistical Association offers guidelines for funding agencies that includes recommendations that both researchers and institutions may find useful.

The Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) offers guidelines are designed to be adopted by journals (and have been by over 5000 journals) but that can also provide a good overview of the kinds of issues researchers should be thinking about.


About the author

Franklin Sayre
Franklin Sayre

Franklin Sayre is the Pharmacy Librarian at the University of Minnesota Bio-Medical Library. Contact Frank (fdsayre@umn.edu) for help finding guidelines for your discipline, reporting standards for your methodology, or if you are looking for places to openly publish your research, methodology, or data.  

Frank can also help conduct a systematic review and with computational research tools like R and Git.

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