And it’s a concern for everyone involved in research, not to mention the patients who “rely on [researchers] to embrace innovation, make advances and deliver new therapies that will improve their lives.”¹
Reportedly, the reproducibility of a large number of scientific studies has been called into question. Researchers were able to confirm only 11% of the findings in a well-publicized study¹ of 53 published oncology papers. Other papers in fields ranging from cancer to psychology have been mostly unreproducible.
How can this be and what action should we take?
BioMed Central is addressing its concern with the creation and launch on July 23 of a Minimum Standards of Reporting Checklist. During the trial phase, the use of a reporting checklist will apply to manuscripts submitted to three of its journals: BMC Biology, BMC Neuroscience, Genome Biology, and GigaScience.
The introductory paragraph on the Checklist states:
“BMC Neuroscience advocates full and transparent reporting. Please ensure that your paper provides the information requested below where applicable. On submitting your paper you will be asked to confirm you have included this information, or give reasons for any instances where it is not made available.”
Authors are asked on submission to confirm that they have included the requisite information on the checklist or give reasons for any instances where it is not made available or not applicable. Further, reviewers are asked to confirm the information has been adequately reported and reviewed.
BioMed Central plans to review the data that’s collected during the trial, then relaunch the checklist (with any revisions) across all BioMed Central journals.
What you think?
BioMed Central is interested to hear your ideas (we are, too), not just about the checklist, but about what can be done to tackle the reproducibility problem.
You can read the original press release here: www.biomedcentral.com/presscenter/pressreleases/20150723a
¹Drug development: Raise standards for preclinical cancer research. C. Glenn Begley & Lee M. Ellis. Nature 483, 531-533 (29 March 2012)
(Here’s our link to the full text of the paper: http://bit.ly/1KzTYN4)