Reproducibility Making Progress at Science

[From the article, “Progress in Reproducibility” by Jeremy Berg, Editor-in-Chief  Science Journals, published in the 5 January 2018 issue of Science]
“Over the past year, we have retracted three papers previously published in Science. The circumstances of these retractions highlight some of the challenges connected to reproducibility policies. In one case, the authors failed to comply with an agreement to post the data underlying their study. Subsequent investigations concluded that one of the authors did not conduct the experiments as described and fabricated data. Here, the lack of compliance with the data-posting policy was associated with a much deeper issue and highlights one of the benefits of policies regarding data transparency. In a second case, some of the authors of a paper requested retraction after they could not reproduce the previously published results. Because all authors of the original paper did not agree with this conclusion, they decided to attempt additional experiments to try to resolve the issues. These reproducibility experiments did not conclusively confirm the original results, and the editors agreed that the paper should be retracted. This case again reveals some of the subtlety associated with reproducibility. In the final case, the authors retracted a paper over extensive and incompletely described variations in image processing. This emphasizes the importance of accurately presented primary data.”
“As this new year moves forward, the editors of Science hope for continued progress toward strong policies and cultural adjustments across research ecosystems that will facilitate greater transparency, research reproducibility, and trust in the robustness and self-correcting nature of scientific results.”
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