Lack of reproducibility in scientific research: Survey of 1,500 scientists by Nature

This article is co-authored by Sandhya Sriram and Mahantesh Biradar.

Ever tried to replicate someone else’s work or your own work in the laboratory? Or heard of someone complaining about how they couldn’t get the same results as a published paper?

Well, you are not alone!

Reproducibility in Scientific Research

To state in laymen terms – Reproducibility is the ability of an entire experiment or study to be duplicated, either by the same researcher or by someone else working independently. Reproducibility is one of the main principles of scientific research.

We have come across so many challenges faced by researchers – getting a grant, publishing a paper and REPRODUCIBILITY. Don’t you thinks reproducibility of findings is one of the biggest nightmare of science researchers?

Recently, Nature published results of a survey conducted on more than 1,500 researchers to get more insights on the reproducibility of scientific findings. The results of the survey were shocking!!!

Is there a reproducibility crisis? 52% said yes, there is a significant crisis; 38% said a slight crisis; 7% of them said there is no crisis and 3% of them did not know.

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In biology, about 80% of researchers have failed to reproduce someone else’s work and a shocking 60% have failed to reproduce their own work.

Further, the responders were asked to grade different approaches to enhance the reproducibility in science. Around 90% or more chose better mentorship, better statistics and more robust experimental design strategy.

34% of researchers said that their labs have not established any procedures for reproducibility; while about 33% said it was established in their labs within the last 5 years.

The main reasons for this lack of reproducibility were selective reporting, pressure to publish, poor statistical methods and not replicated enough in the original lab.

These results indeed are worrisome and stricter measures have to be placed in every lab/university/research institute to make sure that the research reported is reproducible by anyone, anywhere at anytime!

Click here to read more and view the original survey.

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