Thursday, September 5, 2013

Is Science Broken? Part 4: Studies Often Aren't Reproducable

“Towards Better Papers, With Real Results in Them.”

What a radical notion.

“This has to be a good thing. From the latest issue of Nature comes news of an initiative to generate more reproducible papers:

“From next month, Nature and the Nature research journals will introduce editorial measures to address the problem by improving the consistency and quality of reporting in life-sciences articles. To ease the interpretation and improve the reliability of published results we will more systematically ensure that key methodological details are reported, and we will give more space to methods sections. We will examine statistics more closely and encourage authors to be transparent, for example by including their raw data. . .

“…I hope that Science, the Cell journals at Elsevier, and other other leading outlets for such results will follow through with something similar….”

Indeed.  Science has slipped pretty badly, as the need for an initiative like this demonstrates.  Reproducibility, not “statistical significance”, is the sine qua non of Science, after all. 

At least some are trying to fix the problem.