Surveying Reproducibility

[From the article “Assessing data availability and research reproducibility in hydrology and water resources” by Stagge, Rosenberg, Abdallah, Akbar, Attallah & James, published in Nature’s Scientific Data]
“…reproducibility requires multiple, progressive components such as (i) all data, models, code, directions, and other digital artifacts used in the research are available for others to reuse (hereafter, “availability”), (ii) the artifacts can be used to exactly reproduce published results (reproducibility, sometimes called bit or computational reproducibility;), and (iii) existing and new datasets can be processed using the artifacts to reproduce published conclusions (replicability).”
“To quantify the current state of reproducible science in hydrology and to understand the factors preventing more reproducible or replicable publications, we present here a 15-question survey tool designed to assess the availability of digital artifacts and replicability of results in peer-reviewed journal articles. We use this survey tool to assess 360 random-sampled articles from the 1,989 articles published in 2017 across six reputable hydrology and water resources journals. “
“Applying our survey tool to 360 random-sampled hydrology articles published in 2017 shows that a decreasing number of articles are able to satisfy the progressively stricter reproducibility requirements of artifact availability and ultimately reproduction of the published results. For example, 70.3% of the 360 sampled articles stated some materials were available, but we could only access 48.6% of those materials online. Only 5.6% of sampled articles made data, model/code, and directions publicly available while just 1.1% of sampled articles made artifacts available and were fully reproduced. We partially reproduced an additional 0.6% of articles.”
“Our findings of low reproducibility of research published in six hydrology and water resources journals in 2017 mirrors low rates of reproducibility previously reported in psychology (100 experiments), computer systems research (613 articles), and articles published in Science (204 articles). Unlike those studies, our survey tool additionally identified bottlenecks to making all digital artifacts available and reproducing results.”
“…we discuss how results for our study in hydrology and water resources can inform broader use of the survey tool by authors, journals, funders, and institutions to improve the reproducibility of published scientific research.”
To read the article, click here.

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