The Challenges to Reproducibility in Biomedical Research (Brian Nosek, Fall 2015 HRA Members Meeting)

Dr. Brian Nosek, Executive Director, Center for Open Science
Fall 2015 HRA Members Meeting, Cleveland, OH

An academic scientist’s professional success depends on publishing. Publishing norms emphasize novel, positive results. Therefore, disciplinary incentives encourage design, analysis, and reporting decisions that elicit positive results and ignore negative results. These incentives can inflate the rate of false effects in published science. Indeed, several recent papers have reported a frequent lack of reproducibility in published biomedical science.

In order to fully assess the extent of this problem and identify best practices that maximize reproducibility, “The Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology” was developed. This project is a collaboration between Science Exchange and the Center for Open Science (COS) to independently replicate a subset of experimental results from 50 recent high-impact cancer biology studies.

At the Fall 2015 HRA Members Meeting,  founder and Executive Director of COS, Dr. Brian Nosek, reviewed the evidence and challenges for reproducibility, provided an update on the “Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology”, and discussed initiatives that aim to nudge incentives and create infrastructure that can improve reproducibility and accelerate scientific progress.

Background reading for this session included: