An ad hoc committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine explored the issues of reproducibility and replication in scientific and engineering research, focusing on defining reproducibility and replicability, and examining the extent of non-reproducibility and non-replicability.
Public Symposium: Reproducibility and Replicability in Science
RELATED EVENT: A public workshop on Enhancing Scientific Reproducibility through Transparent Reporting will be held September 25-26, 2019, in Washington, DC, and convened by the National Academies’ Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation; Roundtable on Genomics and Precision Health; Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders; and National Cancer Policy Forum. The workshop is chaired by Harvey Fineberg (President, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation) and sponsored by the NIH, Cell Press, The Lancet, and Nature Research.
Reproducibility and Replicability in Science (2019)
One of the pathways by which the scientific community confirms the validity of a new scientific discovery is by repeating the research that produced it. When a scientific effort fails to independently confirm the computations or results of a previous study, some fear that it may be a symptom of a lack of rigor in science, while others argue that such an observed inconsistency can be an important precursor to new discovery.
Concerns about reproducibility and replicability have been expressed in both scientific and popular media. As these concerns came to light, Congress requested that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine conduct a study to assess the extent of issues related to reproducibility and replicability and to offer recommendations for improving rigor and transparency in scientific research.
The report offers definitions of reproducibility and replicability and examines the factors that may lead to non-reproducibility and non-replicability in research. While reproducibility is straightforward and should generally be expected, replicability is more nuanced, and in some cases a lack of replicability can aid the process of scientific discovery. The report provides recommendations to researchers, academic institutions, journals, and funders on steps they can take to improve reproducibility and replicability in science.
Overview Video Report Release Briefing Webinar Committee Chair Harvey Fineberg PROJECT SCOPE
The study scope included the following:
View full statement of task for this activity
- Providing definitions of reproducibility and replicability;
- Examining the extent of non-reproducibility and non-replicability;
- Identifying actions to increase scientific rigor and transparency and maintain public trust in science.
National Science Foundation
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation